Hi, everyone. *Jill waves both hands and smiles* I can't believe we've made it to August already. Man! I hate how fast the summer tends to fly by. My kids start school this month, which means I'm going to have to start getting up SO EARLY!
But there are still good times to be had! Writers' conferences to attend. I had the privilege of teaching a teen track at this year's Realm Makers conference. It was a blast. I met SO MANY young writers--and a dozen or so who had been a part of Go Teen Writers or still are. Several adults also told me they secretly follow GTW and read our posts. I took pictures with as many people as I could. Realm Makers is a fabulous conference for those of us who write speculative fiction (any weird genre). I highly recommend checking them out.
And now I must share some pictures. If you want to see more, including pics with me and my author friends, check out the more in-depth blog post I wrote on my author blog.
Something new this conference, my husband came with. He has been writing for years. He has written screenplays, four and a half novels, and lots of plays and skits. The conference inspired him. He came home and started editing one of his novels. He also started a new screenplay. Time will tell if the writing bug is permanent, but it was a lot of fun to have him with me, seeing a bit of my world. He writes under the pen name Casey Oswald, so if you see Casey around, that's him.
Something else cool about Realm Makers, I got to cosplay with my husband. How did we look?
Okay, enough of all that. Let's get back to business as usual.
We have a fun question today on the blog, and I'm really looking forward to reading all of your responses. In case you're new, we're doing Q & A panels on the blog this summer. Each day we post a question, we all write our answer, then we ask you to post your answer in the comments.
Please participate! The more the merrier.
How did you come up with the idea for your most recent work-in-progress?
Well! My family and I had done the Disneyland at Christmastime thing and we were driving home on Highway 99. If you haven’t driven from NorCal to SoCal down this corridor, you’re missing out. It’s all stinky cows and big rigs. But! It has more rest stops than I5 and when you have kids in the car, rest stops are king. So! We’re driving down the stinky highway and we’re surrounded by big rigs and I started thinking about how being a trucker is such a lifestyle commitment. I mean, you’re out on the road non-stop, away from your family, dealing with weather and road conditions. And then I remembered that show on the History channel: Ice Road Truckers. I’d seen a commercial for it that involved a female rig driver and, as all good commercials do, it had me begging to know what kind of danger she’d just put herself in. That thought slamming me as I’m driving home from a very Elsa-Anna-Olaf kind of vacation, had me wondering just how dangerous rig driving would be if the ice roads were laced with magic. From there, my current work in progress was born.
I was listening to a Stuff You Missed in History Podcast on Executive Order 9066, which was the order that sent Japanese Americans to concentration camps during WWII. I thought, “What if you were a Caucasian teenage girl in love with a Japanese American boy?” and the story unfolded from there.
I am so excited to read Shannon and Stephanie's new books. I can't even tell you how excited. Gah! Waiting is torture . . .
My most recent work-in-progress is the Kinsman Chronicles. Here is how I came up with it: In my Blood of Kings trilogy, I mentioned that hundreds of years ago Arman (who represents God) bestowed the telepathic magic of bloodvoicing upon those with royal blood when the kings first came to the land of Er’Rets. That got me thinking where these ancient kings had come from and why they’d left their homeland. I started playing around with the idea of a prequel series, and I was hooked.