The entire Way of the World series takes place in two distinct settings – The Island of Paradise and a town called Gnashing.
The Island of Paradise is a metaphor for the garden of Eden, and in later books becomes the kingdom of heaven.
Gnashing is a metaphor for the world – and in the town of Gnashing there is a wilderness that features rattlesnakes, wolves, and bears. There are green ferns from the east coast, and giant redwood trees from the west coast. To one side of the wilderness is a beach, to the other a desert. The extravagant homes in Gnashing are based on early 20th century Edwardian models. Here is a sketch of the Dunlap’s residence:
Across from the luxurious houses are farms, where the lowly class of Loyalists work (they were slaves not long ago).
The setting of Gnashing is meant to be timeless and multicultural. The “Way of the World” series has a Spiritual message at its heart, a theme which each and every generation of man has questioned since the beginning of his existence.
What do you think of this setting? Is it too ridiculous and unbelievable to have a rich wilderness within close proximity of a desert? Should the bizarre setting of Gnashing and non-existent time period be established within the first few pages through direct narration, or should that be left up to the readers to figure out as they go along?
Looking forward to hearing your opinions.
– Thomas M. Watt
Author of “A New Kingdom”