Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WHAT IS LOST: The Inspiration Behind the Book by Lauren Skidmore

Angry at his failure to exact vengeance on the prince, mask maker Joch flees Venesia to find his lost love. When a red-cloaked assassin promises answers, he has little choice but to trust her—though he maybe walking into a trap. Unravel the deception in this dazzling story of second chances that will keep you guessing to the last page.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.; Sweetwater Books
Release Date: March 10, 2015
ISBN-13: 9781462116218

Praise for Lauren Skidmore's What is Hidden
"Crisp dialogue and quick pacing propel the story, a riff on Cinderella, to an action-filled ending. Filled with gossiping servants, palace intrigue, and masquerading royal personages, this novel will appeal to romance and fantasy fans. Ages 12 and up." Tory Abel – Publishers Weekly

"Lauren Skidmore’s “What Is Hidden” is an enchanting story of friendship, romance and loyalty, complete with royal balls and a prince in disguise." 

Inspiration Behind the Book 
with Lauren Skidmore
One of the most common questions authors get is where we get our ideas, so I thought it would be interesting to share the inspiration for some of my favorite parts of What Is Lost

1. Turning the Villain into the Hero / I try to make my characters as well-rounded as I can, and I've always loved the idea that the villain is the hero of their own story. Switching the perspective of the fairy tale gives it new life, as we've seen in stories like Wicked or Maleficent, so it was interesting to me to tell the story through Joch's eyes, the villain of my first book. 

2. A Cloak of Many Pockets / I wanted to do something special with the traditionally red cloak for my Red Riding Hood. Kit's cloak has dozens of pockets and tiny hiding places, and I got the idea from Mary Poppins' bag. I thought it would be fun to have a sense of wonder about her iconic cloak, even if there isn't any magic involved. 

3. The Bamboo Forest / This idea can be traced back to a tumblr post about different forests of the world, one of which was the bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan. I did a home-stay in Kyoto when I was in college, and have walked through some of these forests. They're beautiful, and so different from the traditional forest of the Red Riding Hood tale that just by using that as my setting, I can give the story a new twist. 

4. The Entertainment District / Joch manages to find his way to the part of the city filled with theatres and street performers, which was also inspired by my time in Japan. I was able to attend part of a kabuki show and walk through Kyoto's own traditional entertainment district. Joch stops to watch a certain street puppet show inspired by a puppeteer I saw in Sendai during the Tanabata festival, where the streets of the huge outdoor mall were covered in the special decorations and streamers, and there were all sorts of performances to see. Both Kyoto and Sendai have such a great atmosphere that it was easy to draw from to create my own district.   

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and traveling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to Books & Benches, Lauren! Thank you for sharing that bit of behind the story inspiration. I love the idea of turning villains into heroes. It's not always easy to do, but they did it fabulously in Maleficent. What a great element to add to your own story.