Breadcrumbs in The Diminished

I didn’t think much about Easter eggs when I was writing The Diminished. So much of my focus was on making something new, something fresh, that everything I did, every choice I made, was in pursuit of writing something that no one had seen before. That said, when I went back and edited the book, I wanted to leave a few things behind.

Though it doesn’t exist on the page, there is a long and complex history that lead to the forming of the Alskad Empire. When conceptualizing the book, I wanted to write a dystopian fantasy set in the very far future, and I wanted to give some small hints that would lead the most careful of readers there.

The name Alskad is far and away the most obvious. Alskad is an evolution of Alaska, which becomes more clear when you consider the climate and terrain described in those scenes. Samiria is part of a name of a mountain preserve in Peru. Denor came– in a roundabout way– from Vancouver. I imagined Ilor as a form of the last name Lord, named for the explorer who rediscovered the island chain in the Pacific.

The only real Easter egg happens when Bo arrives in Ilor. One of the inns that he discusses is called The Travelling Bluesman, a shout out to the summer 2017 New York Times Bestseller list scandal involving Lani Sarem in which this author no one had heard of appeared on the NYT list for a grand total of 23 hours. It came to light that she had been fired by the Blues Travelers at some point, and when asked, the band ended up funding a Texas classroom’s library purchase of a ton of diverse books.

So yeah. A little bit of history, a little bit of gossip.

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Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Kaitlyn Sage Patterson grew up with her nose in a book outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After completing her M.F.A., she moved to South Korea, where she taught English and started writing her debut novel. THE DIMINISHED will be published by HarlequinTEEN in April 2018, followed by its sequel in 2019. When she's not staring off into space and trying to untangle some particularly troublesome plot point, she can be found in her kitchen, perfecting the most difficult recipe she can find; or at the barn, where she rides and trains dressage horses; or with her husband, spoiling their sweet rescue dogs.

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