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.
Kaitlyn Sage Patterson
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