Here’s the first mention of Islandia from my journal, written when I was 15. It’s also when I drew my first, VERY basic, map of my imaginary world. Here’s what I wrote:
I don’t specifically know why, but I’ve always been fascinated by islands. Leading on from when Michael Hillway and Henry Mitchell became kings, I’ve always had made-up monarchies, originally based in the Tudor period, and gradually edging on to Victorian. Now, currently, I have my 3 made-up island kingdoms of Rowenia, Arvinta and Keperley. Rowenia is the oldest and largest, the name deriving from the old female forename ‘Rowena’. The name ‘Rowenia’ has been used many a time before the islands as they are today existed. Rowenia’s capital city (or, rather, town) is Kemerin, and the others are Rowenus, Nanico, Daelem, Lemina, Emilen, Herani (more of a spit), and then Sarindia and the royal retreat Lorima on the Rowenian-occupied island of Sarindio.
Arvinta, which I first created it, was a very dark, mysterious, unfriendly place because of its sinister, mean king. The inhabitants of each island are all very similar because of their traditional customs, and Arvintans are extreme nationalists, and also imperialistic. They own 2 tiny twin islands, Dierfon and Elania, though they’re not nearly as pleasant as Sarindio, as they feel remote and cold, being surrounded only by Arvinta’s gloomy east coast and then empty ocean, though they were once desirable places to rule over. Arvinta’s towns are Arivintia, Korona, Cironus, Kaerin, Kandrom, Hurgon, Amisia, Dierfona on Dierfon and Elanai on Elania.
Keperley’s name really originated from the word ‘Manderley’; the big house in ‘Rebecca’. It’s the smallest of the 3 main islands, and the friendliest, Rowenia being restrained and serious and Arvinta being cold and secretive. It has no other territories. Its towns are Kelica, Jemira (the ‘J’ is pronounced as a ‘y’), Linten (from the surname in ‘Wuthering Heights’, only spelt slightly differently), Kerine, Iora, Halsa (oddly, from the German word for ‘throat’) and Aori.
Obviously a few things are different now: lots of the names have added embellishments, like ‘Sarindio’ instead of ‘Sarin’, and Calbania and Matalie were virtually non-existent at the time. Michael Hillway and Henry Mitchell are much older characters from when I was very little – at some point when I was about 8, they became kings and were given their own islands, and the first monarchs of Rowenia and Arvinta still resemble them!