When dealing with anything set in modern times—today for instance—you have to start taking computers and phones and medical equipment and transportation and all that sort of thing into account. It’s going to impact the character’s lives in a personal way, and in a way it wouldn’t if you were writing, say, historical or fantasy.
This is even more true for a futuristic world.
As I worked on Palladia—and as I’m still working on it, since there’s going to be a third book you don’t know anything about yet—what was foremost in my mind was creating a sense of realness, of normal daily life, to this very advanced kind of society. It’s several hundred years in the future, so you’ve got lots of devices these young people and their families have around them that we don’t have to deal with or think about at all. I want Palladia to feel like a real place you could live. That instead of being an expansion of all kinds of technology for the future, from our point of view, this is just ordinary life for these kids. They have to make schedules, fill out paperwork—wouldn’t it be fun if a societal collapse could get rid of that by bringing on a simpler time? But I doubt it will happen.
And in the midst of all this abundance of what is slick and gadgety and high-powered, they’re jumping off of little starships to go into an old church and practice plays based on moldy classics. They have this symbiotic relationship with the past too. They aren’t self-conscious about what surrounds them and that’s important to me to show about the characters because they wouldn’t be. Self-consciousness shows our minds poking into the story and going, “oh wow, look at their weird world!” But they wouldn’t feel that way. It’s daily life in a fantastic world, so it feels daily as if you were living there yourself.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.