The Marked Series uniquely blends many fantasy genres. Influenced by comic books, Victorian literature, and classic fantasy, it features an ensemble cast of heroes (both super-powered and not) faced with impossible decisions. In turns exhilarating and tender, funny and heartbreaking, The Marked will take you on an emotional ride. At its heart, this is a character-focused story—you’ll watch our heroes try and fail, hurt and heal, struggle and grow. It’s a journey you won’t soon forget.
The world of the Marked would rightly be termed “gaslamp,” though most are not familiar with this category. Gaslamp Fantasy is set in a time period equivalent to the Victorian Era or the Industrial Revolution, as opposed to the more common Medieval setting. It’s like Steampunk, without the steam.
In Trinitas, people travel by carriage and train. They communicate with telegrams, and engage in gun fights as often as sword fights. The world is influenced by both western and eastern cultures, and the cast of characters is diverse.
Martial arts play a significant role throughout the series. The fighting styles are influenced by Tai Chi Chuan, Kung Fu, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu.
I’ve always loved martial arts. I grew up watching my father move through his kung fu forms in our living room, and to my young eyes they looked straight out of a fantasy novel. As a young adult I took Tai Chi classes, and later fell in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
I began writing Division of the Marked in 2012. I was a newlywed in my early twenties, and I’d just moved to South Korea to teach English. It was a period of great transition, and brought me some of my most treasured memories. In 2014 we moved to Jeju Island, a remote and wonderful place that crept into my heart. In 2015, I took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and it influenced my life in ways I could never have anticipated.
By the time I was finishing up the series in 2019, everything had changed yet again. After spending the better part of four years traveling Asia, I’d moved back to my husband’s hometown of Omaha Nebraska (which is, for me, its own kind of foreign). I was trying to figure out how I fit back into my home country, and how to stay still.
In many ways, The Marked Series is the journey of my early adulthood. Through it, I taught myself how to write and publish novels. How to create characters and infuse them with life. On the page and off, I was growing, changing, learning. Which is why this series with always have a special place in my heart.