I've been wanting to write a fantasy book since I was eight-years-old. I was obsessed with books like Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Harry Potter, Keeper of the Lost Cities and Falcon Quinn, the Pegasus books and Artemis Fowl, wanting nothing more than to live in those worlds. I loved to imagine myself going on adventures with my favorite characters and experiencing the magic for myself, but I knew I could never fully claim those stories in my head as my own. And, when I found out that my mom's knitting pattern got published in her favorite magazine when I was ten, I decided I would write a fantasy book of my own. It was terrible and a total rip off of some of the stories I loved to read, but I had fun writing it one summer. Eventually, I realized my "grand idea" for a fantasy book was unoriginal, and I set it aside, waiting for a good idea to come to me.
The idea for Love in the Moon actually came from writing fanfiction. I started writing fanfiction when I was fourteen, and even though the first one didn't work out, I became determined to write in ninth grade and wrote a fanfiction for a different book series that was over 100,000 words! Then, because I got so much buzz from a little fandom, I decided to write another one. This one would be totally outside of the canon, outside of the world, and a story where I could play with the characters and their lives as I pleased. However, once I was a third of the way through, I realized just how far away from the original series I was and how much I loved the characters as I wrote them. So, I had the brilliant idea of: "Hey, what if I turned this into a real book?" What I didn't realize was turning it into a real book meant rewriting every chapter and completely redesigning the story to the point where they're two different stories except for a few important plot points. Originally, the entire story was only going to be one book, but when I checked the word count for the first half of the fanfiction (100K words), I decided it would be better to split into four books and just expand the plot of each to be more detailed.
When I decided to write Love in the Moon, I knew I would have to have a new, unique magic concept. For a little while, I was worried what it would be, but when my 11th grade AP English teacher put the word "affinity" in our vocabulary homework, everything clicked into place. I love plays on opposites, I love all kinds of magic, I love space, I love dramatic moments in literature and film and art, I love characters with a special power, and with one word, all of these things coalesced into Affinity magic. I didn't have to pick and choose between magic powers and do what I want. One of the biggest reasons I love fantasy is that there's so many wild possibilities of what can happen, and Affinity magic is like the Swiss Army knife in my writing arsenal.
Love in the Moon is everything I've ever wanted in a fantasy book, and I'm so unrealistically in love with it and my characters. I love the voices and messages and wild adventures I get to experience while writing the Thadel books, and I hope you guys like it when it comes out in February 2020!