I started with Lyla, and her need to get ahead but her inability to follow the rules. Then I started to wonder what inspired her. I was reading Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay at the time, which led me to read Maus, Persepolis, Blankets, American Born Chinese, Fun Home, and on and on. That's when the comics that Lyla reads appeared to me. I started writing those, and I decided that one of the storylines of the comics she reads would actually appear in the novel.