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5 Things That Inspired Aster’s Coda

Creativity doesn’t exist in a void, and neither did Aster’s Coda. Here’s what inspired its creation:

Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus

Rick Riordan was probably one of the first authors that encouraged me to pursue writing outside of school, for fun.

There was something about his style that just resonated with me as a kid, and my early writing cringely copied his style. And when I finally picked up the Heroes of Olympus series in early high school, I fell in love with his writing all over again.


I can’t think of anyone else who does fight scenes like the team behind RWBY.

Their fights are always a real excitement to watch (minus Volume 5…) because they combine nearly everything that is needed to make a fight stand out! Each character has different weapons, fighting styles and powers to supplement their prowess. The environment is just as pivotal to the battle as the people in it. And of course, a banging soundtrack to pair it to, narrative stakes and hitting emotional beats in breathers. What more could you want?

Twenty One Pilots

If Aster’s Coda became a movie or TV franchise, I’d want Twenty One Pilots to write the score for it.

Initially writing Exposure, I found almost every song by the band correlated to a scene throughout the novel. Of course, I found many more artists who could apply better, but Twenty One Pilots started this off and still have songs applying to scenes!

I don’t know if this is spoiler territory or not, but Fairly Local is the theme song for Geoff and Doubt is the song I pair up with the “darkest hour” scene. This is some examples in book one alone, and the way some of these lyrics relate to my characters is insanity.

Dungeons and Dragons

This was more of an influence that came up in my edits, but an inspiration nonetheless.

Hey, that was a D&D pun.

D&D really helped me reiterate the fighting styles and the roles each character has when they fight. While I don’t roll for initiative when I write fight scenes, it is great to know what each person’s capabilities are when comparing them to D&D classes.

Let’s take the character Jada. I’m writing a fight scene for her in the sequel, and D&D helped me flesh out her abilities well. Her D&D class would be a Wizard, with the Bladesinger as her subclass. While magic is her main feature when it comes to her abilities, those can still be used to help her fight. For instance, with a revamped version of a Shadow Blade spell.

See what classes you think my other characters are when it’s time to read my book.

Iron Man

Though it has since developed far from being an Iron Man knock off, this is where the origins of Aster’s Coda began. I wasn’t actively paying attention to it at the time when I was 12, but I did wonder why there weren’t female heroes shown in the same way as Iron Man.

And so Abby was born a cyborg! But much has changed since then. She and I have grown with our writing styles and developed something truly wonderful. The start of something unlike any of these things that inspired my novel combined.

Hope this inspired you to pick up a copy of Exposure this July! Learn more here!

Yours in writing


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