There are a lot of diverse moments that inspired the story behind Summer Twilight, but at its heart it's a story about friendship through adversity. Alex and Caidy have gone through the ups and downs many best friends face - the struggle to understand if it's platonic or romantic love; the challenges of distance and growing up; the pull of differing responsibilities; and the friction of opposing perspectives. It's a story I'm sure feels true to many of you, just as it rings true for me.
I see reflections of Alex and Caidy's story in all aspects of my life, and their dueling perspectives have actually helped me understand my friends and loved ones better. Caidy is all heart and fire - she's passionate, wears her emotions on her sleeve, is quick to anger and quicker to forgive. Alex is cool rain to her heat - a careful thinker and even more careful actor. His methodical decisions grate on her nerves, just as her impulses try his easy patience. It's a dynamic I think we all fall somewhere on; I have days of fire and energy, and days of cool, calm reflection. Hearing their perspectives has helped me better understand where I rest on the spectrum, and how I can be a more respectful friend to those close to me.
For a long time, I didn't consider myself "creative". My drawing is permanently stuck at stick-figure level; I love music, but don't have the patience to become a great musician. But in discovering Summer Twilight, I realized how many moments I draw on for inspiration, and how writing is truly a creative art form. Below, I've captured some of my sources of inspiration:
I love music, and I tend to listen to music when I write. I also create playlists that remind me of my characters or their relationships, and listen when I need an idea.
I'm an avid Dungeons and Dragons (5e) player, and love looking through D&D adventures and handbooks for character and plot ideas.
I talk to people! I get my friend's perspectives on moments in my book, and study the people around me to see what parts of their personalities fascinate me. Humans are always stranger and more complicated than we think - to make my writing feel as realistic as possible, I want to capture those conundrums and paradoxes.
I exploreconcept art constantly (there's some scattered throughout the website, and if you know who made it let me know!) and as the sibling of an artist, always hope to give credit to the incredible insights they give me into characters, moments, and settings.
I read every day and usually fall asleep with a book in my hand. Reading is one of the best ways to become a stronger and more confident author - it makes me excited to put pen to paper and tell my own stories.
I play video games. I've been playing World of Warcraft since 2006 (seriously), and absolutely love open world games. The way games tell stories is incredibly immersive, and I want to capture that feeling in my own work.
Summer Twilight is more than just a fantastical adventure in a living, breathing world: it's a way to tackle and offer insight into some of the most challenging issues humans grapple with today. The characters in Summer Twilight are normal people just like you and me, facing the same challenges. They just happen to live in a magical, awe-inspiring place.
Labels and Differences: Alex and Caidy grapple with the roles and labels they've had since birth - and the newer ones they've encountered as they've grown up. The differences between people often are seen as divisive, but Summer Twilight explores how our differences are some of the biggest strengths and gifts we bring to any situation.
Becoming an Adult: Okay, so maybe being a princess isn't a job in the 21st century (except for Meghan Markle), but similar challenges and struggles face any young adult assuming their first big responsibilities with no real safety net. Summer Twilight gives readers the chance to connect with characters who are experiencing these challenges head-on.