Friday, February 14, 2014

Announcing! A new blog series...Go Around the World with Me!

All this week, I've talked about diversity and the desire--and need--for stories that are unique and show the lives and worlds of many different characters. To continue the celebration, I'm also going to feature authors whose works showcase a variety of locales and whose characters go around the world--and sometimes off it!--to show readers new places and people.

Each day for the rest of the month, I'll hand the blog over to a different author who will tell us a little about the world his or her book is set in. There will be giveaways scattered throughout, and one grand-finale giveaway featuring a signed trilogy by yours truly, plus a ton of swag--bookmarks, pin buttons, stickers, and more from authors all around the world!

The contest is open internationally, and is super simple to enter--just tweet or share with a friend some of your favorite unique books, and enter in the Rafflecopter embedded below (or at this link).

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To get the ball rolling, I thought I'd share with you a little about the setting location of my latest work, SHADES OF EARTH.

While Shades of Earth takes place on a different world, the inspiration behind the setting came from many different places. 

The biggest influence, by far, was Socotra Island in Yemen. It is almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world, and, as such, has plant life that’s evolved very differently from the rest of the world. It really looks alien, with trees that bleed red, look like they're growing upside down, or look like giant, bulbous mushrooms!

Another big influence was Mesa Verde. I visited Mesa Verde when I was a young girl, on a family vacation out West. It definitely stuck with me–moreso even than the Grand Canyon. I was fascinated by these cliff-dwelling people who built such elaborate cities in the rock…and then disappeared. When it came time for me to write Shades of Earth, I kept these cliff-dwellers in the back of mind, trying to tap into the wonder I felt as I explored these abandoned but not forgotten homes.

Finally, Shades of Earth wouldn't be the book it is without Venice, Italy. I was lucky enough to get to see a glass blowing event while in Venice about three years before I wrote Shades of Earth–and about one year before I even had an idea that I actually would write Shades of Earth! Although I’d seen glass blowing before, I just got tingles watching it then, and new I had to find a way to put glass into a novel. This resulted in solar glass–an effort, on my part, to show the glass that moment when it’s pulled from the fire, when it’s still liquid and molten. You can actually view a bit of the actual demonstration I saw in Venice that inspire the book here.

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Stick around for the rest of the month for more tales about setting, books with diverse worlds, and fun new reading recommendations.


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