Not everyone loves maps. My mum never did. FR may say he likes them but he never looks at them - and certainly never follows them even when he should! I inherited my own love of maps from my dad, I think. And I believe Mateo has inherited this same love - only he's taken it many giant leaps forward.
I love old maps. Ones that say, 'Here be monsters' - an indication of uncharted territories and which have sea serpents and great beasties rising from the depths. I love compasses and being able to locate myself to North, South, East or West. FR's parents were comical whilst staying at our house recently as their house obviously faces in completely the opposite direction to ours. They couldn't get used to seeing the sun rise and set in the 'wrong' place! I was quite taken by this concept...the sun was wrong in Andalucia!
Mateo spends hours creating new species, languages and habitats in a world several million years from now. He has it all quite clear. Our world and its countries are just recognisable but, just as we currently live on a planet whose continents and islands have merged and separated over the years, so our land masses continue to move, migrate and shift.
Pangaea - that view of the world where the tectonic plates were still all cosy and close - has fascinated and inspired many. Me too - an ex-jigsaw junkie - seeing where Africa and the United States might have fitted together, how they moved apart and seeing India travelling so far and finally bumping into Asia to form the Himalayas!
Isn't this an amazing animation of that process?
Well - until Mateo gives his permission, I can't show you where it'll all end in his opinion or what sort of creatures will inhabit the earth at that point. He did say he WILL give me access - just not now.
But he's granted permission to use a fantasy map he's created. This demonstrates his love of map-making. He's drawn many a fantasy map but this one I fell in love with. An obvious link to Tolkien and his many similarly-inspired 'followers' who have been inspired to think of alternative lands - Mateo is no exception. He's ploughing through 'The Silmarillion' with a great deal more dedication than I was ever able to give and has made great inroads into the concept of language development, reading really quite advanced books on the subject. He is thinking about a career in anthropology. It could well be a good choice.
That is, if his love of writing and creating maps and other worlds doesn't lead him to be the next George R.R. Martin, Michelle Paver, Walther Moers, David Brin..or even H.G.Wells - the latter one of Mateo's personal favourites.
There is something very beautiful about this.
Hopefully, he'll be persuaded to share more of his stuff...I'm very proud and impressed by what he has been doing.