How the realm of Crossworlds formed, both in fiction and in the real world.
Until one day I was reading “The Subtle Knife,” and the simple thought, “I wanna meet these people,” went through my head. That thought set off a 20+ minute daydream that opened up the second half of the series. There were a few times along the way when I thought, “And that’ll be the last book, and that’s the end!” But now I know Crossworlds will never be over as long as I’m alive. It is my personal crisis to be able to balance the life of my book series with my actual lifetime.
Just before Crossworlds, I lived in another world, one I shared with my friends in middle school. It was called “Strangeness,” and it was, as it sounds, all about being weird. My friends and I made up stories, we drew maps (I only remember towns like Sugarville and Lemon Land), and enjoyed our weird world together. It was a shared world—everyone could contribute, and put cities on the map.
The odd thing about Strangeness was I knew it was a phase, and wouldn’t live beyond middle school. But in the distance, across a bridge from Strangeness, I saw a new world starting to form. This world was both 100% private, and 100% permanent.
The worst moment of attempted sharing was when I told my friends the name of my world. Yeah, it used to have a name. Basically, I was daydreaming on a car ride, thinking about what the world should be called. I thought about the “important” elements, which, at the time, weren’t very developed. I knew mirrors were commonly used, and that summer was the most celebrated season. So, I just mashed those words together into “Mirsuma.” And for a while, that was what I (privately) called the world beyond the Shadow Cave.
So, one day I was talking to a couple friends, and decided, for whatever crazy reason, to open up about this world. I said the name of it for the first time. And these two friends… Well, one of them said it sounded like the name of a disease. Not in a “hey, you shouldn’t call it that because it sounds like a disease” way, or in a deliberately mean way. No, she had just recently learned about a disease with a similar name, and she was excited to share what she knew about it. And then they both just… started talking about this awful disease and left me in the dust. I just sat there helplessly, trying to process the fact that my entire world had just shattered into pieces.
Dramatic, maybe, but I was a dramatic teenager. I remember crying about it to another friend later that day. I didn’t tell her why I was upset, I just remember repeatedly saying “it’s stupid,” while sobbing uncontrollably. And she’s like, “well, it’s clearly important to you, so it’s not stupid.” That was a sweet moment. And yeah, it was extremely important to me, but it was also pretty stupid, and I knew all of that. Still, it took months to look back at my writing, and address the question of the world’s name. Finally, I read “Faerie Wars” and decided my world didn’t need a name at all (the world in that series doesn’t have a name either). My world is just the magical world, and that’s enough. So, seriously, let’s never call it anything else.
Eventually I asked my boyfriend if he liked the name “Crossworlds” for the series. I wasn’t sure about it, because it sounded too similar to “crossword,” which I will never be able to say like a normal person again. But he loved it, and I soon grew to love it too. And he's been helping me grow my world ever since.