Mo asked Wendy Higgins:

I realize you may never answer my question here, but maybe one day you'll be randomly browsing on Goodreads and possibly answer.:) Did this story/characters etc come to you out of the blue? How much research did you have to do because it's very detailed which I appreciate as a reader. Thank you for a great series. Mo

Wendy Higgins Hello! Each of my books has required research of some sort, most of which I've luckily been able to do online by searching and reading stuff.
And yes, many of my story ideas and characters have come to me out of the blue. I'm not good at brainstorming stories from scratch.
Thanks for writing me!

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