Wizard wasn't a part of the original fantasy. In fact, she wasn't even originally part of Chapter 1. I added her in after the first draft was complete, when Lady K pointed out some holes I needed to fill. Having a character with communications expertise came in handy all kinds of ways, and fleshing her out made me change other parts of the story in ways that will make the whole thing more exciting.
I thought I made her up completely on my own, but not too long ago I stumbled across a website devoted to William Gibson's books and remembered that he created a disabled hacker of his own in Idoru. I'd totally forgotten that. I'd also forgotten that Neal Stephenson did the same in Snow Crash. So maybe it's a trope I'm not aware of. Anyway, I've come to love Wizard so much that she's now my favorite character in Sleepwalkers. That's pretty funny, considering how long I've had Paul and Shara in my head.
It's too early in the story to say much else about the plot, but I will add a few more notes:
- Wizard's disability is a real one, which I researched in preparation for writing her character. You'll find out what it is before much longer.
- Despite the current political climate in Arizona, I didn't choose Phoenix to make a political statement. I chose it because I tend to set my stories in the South, and I wanted to go in a different direction for a change. I've actually visited Phoenix, so I thought I could write about it convincingly (not that much action takes place there). It's a gorgeous city, and Camelback Mountain is magnificent, especially in late afternoon.
- Mount Weather exists. It's so secretive that you can't find much information about it online, but there's this and a few images of the above-ground areas. The below-ground areas I describe are 100% fiction. Probably.