Life is an Adventure--Anywhere in the Galaxy
Seek it out!
I’ve been thinking a lot the adventures we take—whether we choose them or not. Partly, this is because the Galactic Starcruiser is shutting down, and while I’d been saving up for a chance to go next year (aiming for the coveted May 4 spot!) that option is no longer available as the whole experience is shutting down and, despite my frantic re-loading of the page, I was unable to secure a spot.
But it absolutely did inspire a little carpe diem, so I took the funds we’d been saving and transferred them over a new vacation for next year with the family. It’s not something I would normally do, but the rush of pure adrenaline to be planning a trip with the people I love best? Amazing.
In April, I got to do a signing at the BN near Disney World, and I used the trip as an excuse to drag my family with me and take my son to Batuu (Star Wars World at Disney Hollywood Studios). And…wow.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how Star Wars, to me, means family. I remember growing up, watching those movies and recreating lightsaber battles with my brother. And now my kid is falling into this galaxy I love so well.
While I was in Florida, I reached out to some friends and asked if it be possible for me to just see a sneak peek of the Galactic Starcruiser. When they said yes, and arranged for me to walk aboard and witness the grand finale, I nearly fell completely out of my skin. I couldn’t believe it, and I am pretty sure all I did was wander around with my mouth hanging open in sheer awe.
Truly, I would have been happy to see any part of the Halcyon. It’s a strange thing, being a writer who usually sets her stories in impossible worlds. This is the second time that I was able to walk into setting of a story I wrote—getting to walk the streets of Trier (the main setting for Night of the Witch) and now meandering through the corridors of the Halcyon (a major setting for TPATS) is such a surreal and treasured memory.
Plus I got to hug Chewie.
This trip was just a small taste of the brilliance of the Starcruiser hotel, and it really made me understand why it was structured the way it was—this is a unique thing. The people involved—and always remember that it’s people, not a corporation—the people involved had a Really Big Idea that was truly experimental and fascinating and ambitious in all the best ways. I hate that it’s closing, but I’m so hopeful that this becomes a more standard experience—and a more accessible one—in the future.
Because honestly? It was really flipping cool.
What really impressed upon me was, once again, just how much of a family experience Star Wars is. I got to step into one of the final scenes on the bridge, and much as I loved getting my hands on the controls to blast some Tie fighters, I kept sneaking peeks at the little girl on a step stool beside me, her eyes wide, totally immersed in the idea of how real it was. She was on the Halcyon. It was real. All of it.
The Princess and the Scoundrel is set prior to the experience guests have at the Galactic Starcruiser. But the ship/hotel was designed to showcase the history of this special place, and so, perhaps the most amazing thing I got to see was this special detail:
If you’ve read the book, you know.
So here’s to planning trips—on starships or not—and being with the family you love, whether you share blood or not. I hope you find some adventure this summer, and I hope it’s more magical than you dreamed of.
While visiting the Halcyon may be the highlight of my year (life!), I’ve got some awesome upcoming events I hope I see you at!
First up, in Phoenix, the Phoenix Fan Fusion convention will be hosting me! You can see the full schedule of events here, but hurry—this is happening the first days of June!
I WILL HAVE ARCs OF NIGHT OF THE WITCH to give away at the Phoenix Fan Fusion, so be sure to come see me!
And Librarians and Booksellers! Are you going to be at the Children’s Institute in Milwaukee? Me too! Come see me!
You can see all my upcoming events here—I’m going to be a doing a lot of travel all over America this year, and I hope to see you! Also, if you’re a school or librarian or book festival that wants to book me, I’m starting to plan out travel for 2024. You can find out more information about booking me for signings, panels, speeches, class visits, workshops and more right here!
Night of the Witch, Available on NetGalley
What’s that pretty neon green moon cover at the bottom of this image?
That’s just my very own Night of the Witch, hanging out with the top 25 Historical Fiction Novels to read this year! And if you want to read NOTW and you happen to be a reviewer or in the bookish biz, you can check it out now at NetGalley!
The Global Quest: A New Adventure
I’ve been pitching The Global Quest, my interaction choose-your-own-adventure-style game as 13 Little Blue Envelopes meets The Inheritence Games, but as I start the new season of the story, there’s a new adventure for Ellery and her friends. After the discovery of the inheritence—which lead the trio around the world on the hunt for clues—Ellery discovers a long lost relative who’s recently begun leaving geo-caches, a favorite pasttime of the travel-loving family. She decides, along with her friends, to try to relocate this long lost relative by finding the geo-caches hidden in a variety of new locations all around the world.
One of the things I’ve loved best about working on this game—beyond coming up with twisty clues and fun choices!—is the ability to bring in some of my own experiences and photos. If you keep playing, you may know what this town is—and every single background in that episode happens to come from my own backlog of pictures from my own adventures!
You can still play The Global Quest for free—that’s already one full book + the on-going sequel—but it won’t be free forever! You can start right here. Who’s going to be my lucky 500th reader?!
What You Missed on Patreon This Month
All members of my Patreon got some neat bookmarks that I made using wax seals, as well as some bonus post cards. I’m really excited about the upcoming mailed gift for the next round, which will go out at the end of June or beginning of July, depending on when one last element gets mailed to me.
I’m hoping to do some more with wax seals—they’re really so much fun!—but next mailing will be all about potion bottles…
Meanwhile, all readers got the next four chapters of House of Hex, plus the behind-the-scenes of the dice rolling sessions to see how each chapter came to be. If you want to participate in this novel by dictating where and how the characters interact, now’s the time to join! House of Hex will be wrapping up in late summer/fall. Additionally, the patreons in the writer tiers got an in-depth breakdown on what the price of paper means for aspiring and published writers (I know that sounds boring, but it’s really fascinating!), we did a group critique of an adult thriller, another post on when to know when to stop accepting critiques, and finally a video workshop with handouts on how to push your characters into truly dire situations.
What I’m working on now…
Secret adult science fiction project: complete draft, currently on sub, pray for me.
Night of the Witch 2: First draft is completely done and sent to our editor!
Adult fantasy novel: at around 45,000 words, working on the structure.
Global Quest: YA adventure, choose-your-own-path story, first arc done, halfway through the second arc.
Weekly posts and videos about writing at Patreon
SNHU as an online adjunct in the MFA writing program
Accepting critique and coaching jobs with Wordsmith Workshops—in addition to doing Word Lab! Also, we’re starting live and in person retreats again!
Actively doing in-person school, library, and book fair events—book me for panels, signings, and workshops for both adults and teens on writing! If you’d like to get an idea of some of the programming I do, I describe it a bit here.
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