I love how—okay, maybe “love” isn’t the right word—but it amuses me how I have no idea what to do with special effects. I just slap down a bunch of random layers and pray I get something that looks kind of right. My problem is that it can be hard to recreate.

One of the more difficult, and also one of the more interesting things, about writing characters is trying to get into the heads of those with more familiar psychologies. Some people really enjoy taking on weird mindsets—Gilgam is a 400-year-old immortal alien; Vish is a fragment of a super-intelligent overmind that defines the laws of the universe—but trying to create a convincing fifteen year old girl is, in some ways, a lot more difficult. I end up drawing on my own experience and trying to recognize if those experiences were universal or just specific to me. And of course, the culture of Vasgol is also interesting: it’s not a full-on Medieval setting, but nor is it the modern world. As I’ve developed the world, Vasgol’s relationship to young people seems to recreate only a narrow slice of our own history, the US in the 50s and 60s, after people identified the existence of “teen-agers” as a psychologically and socially separate group, but before what we would call “youth culture” really took off. Vasgollans are aware that Anthem (and Maresh, who’s only seventeen) operate in this sort of hazy realm between childhood and adulthood, but in the post-war period they’re struggling to figure out exactly how to categorize them.