Genre: YA Time Traveling Action/Adventure

Status: Researching & Brainstorming

To honor her grandma’s dying wish, sixteen-year-old Sora embarks on a dangerous journey to reclaim the map to a lost, magical city–an artifact her family has been guarding since the rise of the Samurai–from time-traveling treasure hunters who are using it to rewrite history. Along the way she amasses a crew, including a princess turned onna-bugeisha (female warrior) and a charming thief. Her crewmates have their own reasons for helping, so they may be the friends Sora’s never had or the ones who’ll ultimately betray her.

Think Tomb Raider (video games and movies) meets Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older meets The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

  • I’ve had this story in my head for a couple years, but I finally feel ready to write it. I’m an ancient and medieval history and mythology buff, so this is really exciting.
  • There’s a lot of focus on mother/daughter dynamics. Sora’s mom is an archeologist who hasn’t spoken to her mother in years (Sora’s mom refuses to believe the whole we’re guardians of this ancient map thing and Sora’s grandma didn’t approve of who Sora’s mom married) but her mother’s dying so they’re going to say their goodbyes. Sora loves her grandma, but also barely knows her/mostly knows her mom’s side of the story. She’s barely explored her Japanese heritage (she’s a third culture kid who’s spent most her life traveling with her mom) so this is also a story about her figuring out who she is while also honoring her grandma’s dying wish: to find this artifact.
  • I’m still doing a lot of research both about modern day Kyoto & Japanese traditions as well as on medieval Japan. I often spend forever researching my stories because 1) although it’s fiction, there are things that need to be portrayed correctly and 2) I love that feeling of when you’ve absorbed so much about a topic and you sit down to write and the words flow.
  • I’m unsure how I’m approaching the time travel aspect. As in all I know is the map was stolen and Sora’s got to get it back. It was originally in contemporary times, but, again, I love ancient and medieval history so I wanted more than just elements of those periods.

View this inspirational Pinterest board (I’ll be adding more to it soon!)