This was a high-stakes panel. Sarah Rees Brennan was the games master, and whichever author got the least amount of applause would have to be killed. The fantasy-fiction authors talked about how they came up with their settings, and how they developed the magic systems in their books.
Libba Bray found the 1920s fascinating, and decided to make it the setting of her new novel, The Diviners. She enjoyed all the lingo and events of the time. Her idea for the magic came from there is darkness in us all, and how do we defeat it.
Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone was inspired by Tzar Russia, and how she wanted to leave behind the fantasy-fiction norm of a medieval setting. The magic system came from wanting to know what physically happened to a person when you cast magic spells. The Grisha magic is based on science, it's actually called the simple science.
Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia wanted to create a small town in the real world where magic still happened. The main character of Beautiful Creatures and her family are cursed to not be able to choose whether to be good or evil. They found many to teens could relate to feeling like they're not in control of their own lives.
Rae Carson found her inspiration in South Africa, a setting to which she added medieval technology for The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Rae wanted to mess with the typical fantasy story. The Godstone, the jewel the chosen one has in their navel, was invented when Rae was getting her navel pierced.
All these authors are amazing and hilarious, and everyone in Austin should stop by to see them and others today until 5 p.m.!