Exile began with Aurelia, of course.
She has always insisted on a sequel to her first book—at least as far back as I can recall.
Though, technically, I started typing the initial draft of Exile the weekend after my first submission deadline for Academy 7.
Vroom! We were off—Robert, Aurelia, and I, thundering through their expedition.
Of course, there were certain things Aurelia didn’t inform me of in that first draft.
The forest, for example. Silly me, I thought the Asyan Forest was the setting for a single chapter. Little did I know it was going to snatch us up and refuse to let us leave. I spent an entire Christmas in the forest. The beginning of the following summer, we were still there.
And then I had to take a detour into the draft for a different book.
Ooh! Aurelia was mad! “You’re leaving us stuck here!” She yelled at me. “How can you leave us here?!”
I used logic.
My publisher used logic.
My brand new agent, Kelly Sonnack from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, used logic.
Guess who won?
Not anyone using logic.
By the end of the summer, Aurelia, Robert, and I were out of the forest and onto the frontier (definitely worth the struggle) with the scariest deadline I've ever had in my life.
Aurelia, on the other hand, was happy.