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When I created SPELLED, I imagined a world where every character ever written could interact with each other. A world called Libraria. My story takes place more specifically within the realm of Fairytale. When I was writing Spelled, I began to think about the culture that the inhabitants of Fairytale might have. (I’m a cultural anthropology minor–assuming I ever find time to finish my degree) How would these characters see there own lives? What sort of view of destiny would they hold? What sort of cosmology and religion?

I decided that just as I believe I was created by a God who watches over me, so too do these characters believe. Except their Almighty Power is a pantheon of “Storymakers” that determine their traits, character arcs and happy ever afters.  Like the Greeks had Zeus, the characters of Fairytale had Grimm at the head of the pantheon. There is also a host of other patron Storymakers.

Martine Leavitt teaches a writing class at LDStorymakers

Martine Leavitt teaches an intensive writing workshop at LDStorymakers

In the real world of “Kansas” and Provo, Utah, there are Storymakers everywhere. But we know that we are anything but Almighty beings. Quite often we start writing with a beautiful outline, only to have our characters hijack the story and take it into a whole new and unexpected direction.

The name “Storymakers” actually came from an author’s guild I belong to, LDStorymakers. I was so fortunate this past weekend to attend a conference with other members of the group such as James Dashner, Brandon Mull, J. Scott Savage, Jennifer Nielsen, Martine Leavitt, and hundreds more. From NYT best-selling writers to those working on their first drafts, we all came with one thing in mind. To Learn. To Grow. To Create. To Build up more characters and then let them loose to find their own fates.

Spelled is a fun romp through fairytales, but if you read closely, you’ll also feel a theme of how I interpret the world, personal accountability, and the role the divine plays in our society. I wanted people to think about whether their own “Storymaker” wrote every twist and turn of their lives or if they were ultimately responsible for their own happy ending.