Confession: While I love all of my writings, RELIC holds a special place in my heart. And not just because it will be my first published work. This book is very much a part of me. I can show you why in ten ways.
1. I’ve always been a writer.
In high school, I was that girl with the notebook, writing angsty love poetry about guys who absolutely did not deserve my passionate admiration. I wrote lots of fiction, but nothing substantial. About nine years ago, I decided to crack down and get serious about finishing a novel.
2. I spent two years working on my first idea. It was hopelessly cliche.
I never got beyond forty pages. I hated it so much by the end that I abandoned writing for a full year. There was only one salvageable kernel in the whole mess. The idea of relics: the fossilized remains of ancient, long-extinct fantasy creatures that still retained magical properties. I knew I had something with that, so I tucked it away, hoping to one day find a story worthy of it.
3. RELIC is my fifth completed novel.
Luckily, the desire to write never really left, and I started again. I worked hard, improved my craft and faced lots of rejection. I’m a slow, careful writer. A plotter through and through. No novel ever came easy.
4. The first flicker of an idea for RELIC came while I was reading the novel These Is My Words.
It’s a brilliant book. And the Old West setting completely captivated me. I remember closing the book, looking out my window, and thinking, “Wow, what a cool era. You know what would make it even cooler? MAGIC.”
5. The magic system in RELIC dates back to my very first story.
You remember: the really awful one with the single redeemable concept? The idea of relics clicked immediately with my Western setting. I always envisioned relics being mined from the earth. And what says Old West better than mining?
6. My town inspired the setting for RELIC.
7. I gave my main character’s little sister my daughter’s name: Ella.
I told you I put a lot of myself into this book.
8. In college, I studied and got my degree in History.
One of my favorite classes was, you guessed it, The American West. I wrote my final thesis paper on prostitution in the Old West. And to answer your question, yes, one of the central characters in RELIC is a prostitute. She’s awesome, actually. I can’t wait for you all to meet her.
9. I used tropes to my advantage while writing RELIC.
I intentionally tried to include every Western cliche I could think of: prostitutes, cowboys, Native American warriors, Chinese immigrants, Mexicans, miners, steel-willed farmers. They’re all there, but I gave every group a twist. A magic-related twist. This is an alternate world fantasy, after all.
10. RELIC carries a piece of every story I’ve ever written.
Like I said, I knew from that start that RELIC was special. Maybe even The One. So I took the best parts of all the stories that came before, tweaked them, and smashed them up into one awesome novel.
Or at least, I think it’s awesome. It is my baby, after all.
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