Two more weeks until you can all read The Lost Continent! Eeeeeeee I simultaneously can’t wait and also feel like I need about eight more blankets to hide under . . . I’m sure those of you with writer brains know what I mean!
And now you’ve met the HIVEWINGS! Oh my goodness, I loved coming up with these but I have to admit the research was absolutely terrifying. I decided if the SilkWings were inspired by butterflies and moths, the HiveWings would be influenced by all the other insects—particularly wasps, but also dragonflies and beetles and everything else in the insect kingdom. This gave me lots of really fun names (Queen Wasp! Lady Bloodworm! Weevil! Katydid!), but also meant I spent months reading books about insects and watching documentaries of close-up shots of insects being VERY INSECTY and
guess what it turns out INSECTS ARE SUPER SCARY.
I mean, I knew this. I’m not sure what possessed me, a person who already shrieks at anything wiggly and multi-legged, to think watching bug documentaries for three months straight would be a good idea. I once texted my husband to inform him that we would no longer be able to use our downstairs bathroom, because there was a wasp in there and so the room now belonged to the wasp forever.
(Rather like the continent of Pantala, in fact . . . one might ominously hint . . .)
But all the nightmare-inducing research led to some pretty cool dragons, I think – I hope you think so, too! They have kind of an interesting history that’s led them to their current place in Pantalan dragon society, much of which you’ll discover over the course of Book Eleven. And then Book Twelve has a HiveWing protagonist, so you’ll find out even more then!
Speaking of which, I must get back to writing, but I wanted to tackle a few more questions first:
wolfdragon31316: @Tui: Do you listen to music while writing your books? If so, has any song ever inspired you to create a character based on that song?
I wish I could listen to music while I’m writing, but I find it distracts me from the flow of words in my head, so I can’t. There are a few songs that remind me of certain characters, though—“Stand by You,” by Rachel Platten makes me think of Qibli, and I must admit I enjoy imagining Darkstalker singing “I Love Me,” by Meghan Trainor. I have the silliest personal anthem, too – you guys are going to think I’m ridiculous, but whenever I feel kind of down, I turn on “Get Back Up Again” from the Trollz movie and sing along really loud and feel extremely silly but also better. And I have a little mix I sometimes listen to for inspiration before writing, which includes “Piano” by Ariana Grande (I really love that song) and “Cut to the Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen.
Adventuredragon2193: 1. Are the dragonets of destiny going to be involved in the next arc?
Not right away, because Book Eleven mostly takes place on the new continent, but I hope so—I definitely plan on us seeing them again eventually!
5. Are Riptide and Tsunami dating?
Sort of . . . it’s long-distance and they’re both kind of new at this (and Tsunami is very busy!), but they do really like each other, so they’re figuring it out slowly!
Wolffire1040: How do you stay concentrated on writing? I have... difficulties... staying on track.
Oh my gosh, me too, my friend. For me, having a deadline and a person standing on the other end of the deadline waiting for the manuscript is essential; I think it would take me forever to write anything without that motivation. I also have to set myself timers for staying off the Internet—I sometimes use a timer where it’ll give you 25 minutes to work and then a five minute break for Internet distractions and then back to work, and that helps a little (although it works better if my “internet distraction” is a crossword puzzle than if it’s a social media vortex, which is harder to get out of!).
I know it sometimes feels impossible, though—so just remember that every writer has this problem! I’m currently rereading John Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel, which I love mainly because it shows that even John Steinbeck often had days where he was like “uurrrrrgh, writing is hard, I don’t want to, my brain isn’t working”, although he says it in a much more literary way than I do.
Speaking of which, I have to go MAKE my brain work right now, so I’m sending you all hugs (and absolutely no HiveWing dreams!), and I can’t wait to see your beautiful SilkWing and HiveWing art! Yay!
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