The Allie Beckstrom books are set in modern day Portland, Oregon where magic and technology are well established. Magic is something everyone can use, but if you use magic, it uses you back and the price you pay is pain. I have a great time contrasting magic against our everyday world and seeing the results. Turns out an awful lot of people have deadly plans for magic, including Allie’s father, who happens to be possessing a corner of her mind.
MONK: Fun! The modern magical Oregon in the Allie books is based off the real modern Oregon, so I can throw in landmarks, and businesses, and street names and add a twist of magic to all that. The historical steampunk Oregon is informed by historical facts, but I do change it up a bit more, adding in all sorts of fun stuff like rigid airships that harvest the rare, valuable “glim” high above the mountain ranges.
MONK: Knitting gives me a way to create that’s fun, without deadline, and has almost zero consequences if I botch it up. On top of all that, just the physical act of holding still and letting the beautiful yarn slip through my fingers on its way to becoming something fun or useful or lovely is relaxing and gives my creative brain some downtime.
MONK: There has been a lot of advice I’ve been given that has helped me: “Dare to be bad”, “Write faster”, “It doesn’t have to be good, it has to be done”, but I guess the one thing that I return to over and over is a quote from Ray Bradbury: “Step off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” It reminds me to be brave, and to not fear the uncertainty and challenges that writing and life can sometimes throw your way.