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Things are just changing too quickly. If you can figure out how to get a reasonably accurate picture of the real career landscape out there, you have a massive edge over everyone else, most of whom will be using conventional wisdom as their instruction booklet. Pretty stressful, but also incredibly exciting. A career path is like a game board. This is promising news. If you simply understand what the game board really looks like and play by modern rules, you have a huge advantage. And this brings us to you and your particular strengths. With enough time, could you get good enough at this game to potentially reach whatever your definition of success is in that career?

The distance starts with where you are now—point A—and ends with you reaching your definition of success, which we can draw with a star. The length of the distance depends on where point A is how far along you are at the current moment and where the star is how lofty your definition of success is. But the game boards in less traditional careers often involve many more factors.

Acting ability is only one piece of that puzzle—you also need a knack for getting yourself in front of people with power, a shrewdness for personal branding, an insane amount of optimism, a ridiculous amount of hustle and persistence, etc. If you get good enough at that whole game—every component of it—your chances of becoming an A-list movie star are actually pretty high.

So how do you figure out your chances of getting to any particular star? What makes someone slower or faster at improving at a career game? Your level of chefness. Careers are complex games that almost everyone starts off bad at—then the chefs improve rapidly through a continual loop….

Your work ethic. This one is obvious. Someone who works on their career 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, is going to move down the path almost four times faster than someone who works 20 hours a week, 40 weeks a year. Someone who chooses a balanced lifestyle will move slower than a single-minded workaholic. Someone who frequently breaks from work to daydream or pick up their phone is going to get less done in each work hour than someone who practices deep focus.

Your natural abilities. Talent does matter. Smarter, more talented people will improve at a game at a faster rate than less naturally gifted people. But intelligence and talent are only two types of natural ability that come into play here. Depending on the type of career, social skills can be critically important as well. In many careers, likable or subtly manipulative people have a big advantage over less likable people—and those who enjoy socializing will put in more people hours over time, and build deeper relationships, than antisocial types.

Persistence is simpler than pace. A car going 30 mph that quits driving after 15 minutes gets a lot less far than a car that drives 10 mph for two hours. And this is why persistence is so important. A few years is just not enough time to traverse the typically long distances it takes to get to the raddest success stars, no matter how impressive your pace. Your Real Strengths and W eaknesses. When we list our strengths, we tend to list our areas of existing skill more than anything else. Instead, strengths should be all about pace and persistence qualities. Originality or lack thereof should be a critical component of the discussion, making qualities like agility and humility trademark chef traits notable strengths, and qualities like stubbornness 8 or intellectual laziness classic cook traits important weaknesses.

The subtleties of work ethic, like a knack for deep focus or a propensity to procrastinate, should also be a major part of the discussion, as should natural abilities beyond talent, like savvy and likability. Qualities related to persistence, like resilience and determination and patience, should be thought of as promising strengths, while a social tentacle clamoring to appear successful as quickly as possible should be viewed as a bright red flag.

This lesson applies to specific skills—but most general pace and persistence qualities can also be worked on and improved if you focus on them. This would be an impossibly big list, only ruling out paths that are clearly far too long for you to traverse at your maximum possible pace on the path like me chasing a career as an Olympic figure skater. To complete our Reality Box audit with that caveat, we need to evaluate:.

For those paths, evaluate your starting point, based on your current skills, resources, and connections relevant to that field. Think about end points and where on each line your star should be placed. Make an initial estimate for what your pace of improvement might be on these various game boards, based on your current pace-related strengths and how much you think you can improve at each of them in other words, how much your speed might be able to accelerate. You take your game board and make it a line, you plot starting points and success stars that together generate the various distances in front of you, and for each, you multiply your pace by your level of persistence.

A from-first-principles Reality Box audit may bring some overly optimistic people down to Earth, but I suspect that for most, an audit will leave them feeling like they have a lot more options than they realized, empowering them to set their sights on a bolder direction. A good Reality Box reflection warrants yet another Want Box reflection. Reframing a bunch of career paths in your mind will affect your level of yearning for some of them.

One career may seem less appealing after reminding yourself that it will entail thousands of hours of networking or multiple decades of pre-success struggle. Another may seem less daunting after changing your mind about how much luck is actually involved. This brings us to the end of our long, two-part deep dive. After a fairly exhausting box-auditing process, we can return to our Venn 10 diagram. Assuming some things have changed, you have a new Option Pool to look at—a new list of options on the table that seem both desirable to your high-priority rankings and possible to achieve.

If there had been a clear arrow on your map before your audit, check out your new Option Pool. Remember, going from a false arrow to a question mark is always major progress in life. And actually, a new question mark implies having made the key cliff jump on two roller coasters: getting to know yourself and getting to know the world. Major step in the right direction. Cross out the arrow and join the question mark crowd.

Now the question mark crowd has a tough choice. You gotta pick one of the arrows in the Option Pool. Careers used to be kind of like a year tunnel. You picked your tunnel, and once you were in, that was that. You worked in that profession for 40 years or so before the tunnel spit you out on the other side into your retirement. The truth is, careers have probably never really functioned like year-tunnels, they just seemed that way. At best, traditional careers of the past played out kind of like tunnels.

But crusty old conventional wisdom has a lot of us still viewing things that way, which makes the already hard job of making big career path choices much harder. It enhances the delusion that what we do for work is a synonym for who we are, making a question mark on your map seem like an existential disaster. When you think of your career as a tunnel, the stakes to make the right choice seem so high that it explodes the feeling of tyranny of choice.

For perfectionist types especially, this can be utterly paralyzing. When you think of your career as a tunnel, you lose the courage to make a career switch, even when your soul is begging for it. It makes switching careers feel incredibly risky and embarrassing, and it suggests that someone who does so is a failure.

But conventional wisdom still tells many of us that careers are tunnels. And of course, that landscape—and those game boards—will have themselves evolved. Popular psychologist Dan Gilbert also eloquently describes just how bad we are at predicting what will make us happy in the future. Pretending you can figure out what dot 2 or 4 or 8 should be now is laughable. Future dots are the worry of a future, wiser you living in a future world.

Dot 1 is your chance to test it out. Hypothesis testing is intuitive in the dating world. You have to get some experience dating this person to learn what you need to learn to make that decision. We can all agree that this hypothetical friend is pretty nuts and is lacking a fundamental understanding of how you find a happy relationship. Reframing your next major career decision as a far lower-stakes choice makes the number of options exciting, not stressful.

And now you have to actually make the move. The Yearning Octopus can help. As we discussed earlier, your behavior at any given point simply displays the configuration of your octopus. Your conscious mind may have tried to assign lower shelf ratings to the parts of your octopus that lean towards inertia, but your yearnings have rebelled.

To fix this problem, think like a kindergarten teacher. In your class, a faction of the 5-year-olds is rebelling against your wishes. What do you do? Go talk to the 5-year-olds that are causing the trouble. Describe to them the insights you gained from your Reality Box reflection. Remind them about how connecting the dots works and about the chillness of dot 1. Until you do, your life will be run by a bunch of primitive, short-sighted 5-year-olds, and your whole shit will suck.

Trust me, I know. Jumping to a new dot is a liberating feeling, usually side by side with some substantial internal havoc. The whining octopus is a reminder of why pure, elated happiness is never a reasonable goal. The times you feel pure happiness are temporary, drug-induced delusions—like the honeymoon phase of a new relationship or new job or the high following a long-awaited success. Chasing happiness is an amateur move. Feeling contentment in those times when your choices and your circumstances have combined to pull it off, and knowing you have all that you could ever ask for, is for the wise.

For a while, you can just live. As far as you know, you might be Michael Jordan holding his first basketball, so start playing. At some point, your good feelings about the macro picture may sour. This is the mission-enhancing type of dot jump. A mission-changing dot jump may be in order, but depending on which parts of you are asking for it, it may also be the wrong move.

The people on the left side of this spectrum are jump-shy. The cement-footed. Their pitfall is staying way too long in the wrong things. This is why these internal frameworks are important. They give you the ability to analyze the source of your impulses. In our example, the question is whether your impulse to jump missions is the result of genuine evolution or quick-quitter bias. So think about your diagram. Is your restlessness just the expected incessant whining of an octopus still correctly configured? Or have you learned new information about yourself or the world during the trudge that has corrected some off-base initial assumptions?

Would you date a robot if they were your perfect match? Taylor: My Tinder profile specifies "Robots only. Jaylee: To be honest, I would date a robot even if they weren't my perfect Match Coco: There are a lot of moments in Perfect Match when the characters doubt themselves and their ability to take down the obstacles in their way. Especially with the help of a support system and Armadillo Power!

I hope all of us can enjoy the process of exploring the boundaries of who we are and who we could be, and never feel restricted to any label, definition, or preconceived notion! We are always evolving. You are capable of incredible things, and you are worthy of love and respect. And if you ever forget, call in Nadia to remind you! Jaylee: Thank you so, so much for loving our characters just as much as we do. Natasha: Thank you for every hilarious comment, thoughtfully-crafted tweet, beautiful fanart, and heartfelt message.

You all inspire me every single week. Skye, Rory, Ajay, and the twins are all so fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing them grow! Taylor: It's a secret! But rest assured, it will have a lot of smooching, sweetness, and hilarity! Coco: What's next for me is also a secret! But here's a hint: it'll be stylish, fun, and every bit as jet-setting! I guess we'll find out what the future holds! To everyone who's stuck with Perfect Match from beginning to end, thank you for reading along! Case the joint, assemble a crew, and make off with the score of a lifetime Now before the book launches next week, let's hear from the intrepid crew of writers behind our newest Choices book:.

Without sharing the blueprint of the whole book, tell us a little about The Heist: Monaco! Owen: The Heist: Monaco is our take on a classic heist-style caper! You play as a master thief preparing for one big job, but along the way, you're going to assemble a crew of specialists from a really fun cast of characters. It's slick, fast-paced, and a ton of fun. What goes into assembling a crew? And, ahem, can we date anyone in our heist crew? You're gonna travel around the world meeting cool, ridiculous, badass criminals, and then decide which of them gets to be on your team.

Iris: Each potential crew member you'll meet has a specific skillset as well as a unique personality, and whoever you choose will be with you for the rest of the book Good news is, you can always play it again with a completely different group of characters. As for the second question Safe to say, some members of your heist crew will think so too! Jen: A lot goes into pulling off the crime of the century. You need someone who's good at distraction, someone with some serious sleight-of-hand skills, and obviously an awesome getaway driver.

As the leader of a crew, you'll get to hand-pick people for these roles. And clearly, when things get tense, romance can happen in the heat of the moment What was it like brainstorming this book and, of course, planning a whole heist in the process? Owen: A lot of maps, charts, devious scheming, and brainstorming fun character voices. Also a lot of coffee, but that was mostly me. Jen: It was kind of intense at first.

There's a lot of moving pieces to manage, but I'm proud of what we've come up with! Iris: The early brainstorms really gave me a new appreciation for how much planning goes into a heist! Many diagrams were scribbled on whiteboards. But my favorite part was thinking about how different crew members will banter with each other in fun, personality-clashing ways. If you were recruited to pull off a heist, what role do you think you'd play? Owen: I'd probably be some sort of wisecracking thief who is largely comic relief until one unexpected clutch moment in the end where he pickpockets the pope's car keys or something.

Iris: I think I'd be a hacker. That way, I could keep out of danger and hang out in front of a computer screen from some remote location, probably eating candy bars, guzzling caffeinated drinks, and listening to pop songs that help me get in the 'zone'. Which, come to think of it, doesn't sound too different from my current daily life. Jen: I'd probably be a grifter-type that distracts the authorities while the real cons slip in. Knowing my luck, I would probably make a huge mistake, but somehow I'd still end up successful. Just not the way I intended.

Any final tips for players about to pull off the ultimate heist? Play it a second time with a completely different crew, and see the different interactions and conversations you unlock. Iris: Every good heist involves some reckless improvisation, so remember to enjoy the journey and take risks along the way! Sure, the heaps of riches you can get are a plus Jen: Just try to remain calm under pressure!

There's a lot of tense moments in here with some quick decision making. If you keep a cool head, and focus on the job, you'll make off with the score, no problem! Get ready to scheme and steal your way to the top in The Heist: Monaco, launching next week! What books did you love in ? Are you liking the new Choices update? We want to hear from YOU!

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And thank you for playing! This update is our biggest and most ambitious yet! What's new in this update: - A crisp, clean, new look. We're talking total makeover! But that's not all Next, you've asked, and we've listened. In this update, we've increased chapter completion rewards! And shhhh All that, and we haven't even talked about our new books yet!

This update places Choices on a firmer foundation to add more new features that you guys will love. Knowing that you guys are out there playing, loving, and living passionately makes every day even hard ones a joy. We can't say it often enough, or shout it loud enough Royal Level 1 Director. Hey everyone! As the end of approaches, we at Pixelberry wanted to take the chance to look back, reflect, and give you the latest update on what's new at Pixelberry. But before we get into that, we just wanted to say a big thank you for playing Choices!

First off, Choices is undergoing a makeover! Our team is about to release an update in the near future that will improve game experience and navigation in Choices with a fresh, new look. We also plan to address some issues, such as the diamond reward bug and common causes for game crashes. The last few months have been a little rocky for us here at Pixelberry.

Alongside releasing a number of new books, Choices experienced more than a few bugs, and we can't apologize enough for these issues and inconveniences. During this time, we came to truly appreciate how patient and encouraging you all are. The Choices community is one of a kind. Thank you again! In this blog post, we'd like to go ahead and answer a few commonly asked questions! On social media and via Support messages, the Community team and the Support team do their best to provide you with the latest news, but a Facebook comment or game message isn't the best place to go into detail So we're going to do that here!

And now, let's get down to business:. We're excited to announce that The Royal Romance writers are hard at work on a new follow-up series! We can't give away too much at this stage in the process, but the new series will start directly after the events of The Royal Romance.

The writers are really excited for what they have planned! We'll have more news for you in the upcoming months. When will Bloodbound: Book 2 come out? Is there a release date? Right now, Book 2 of Bloodbound is being worked on! We hope to release it in the spring of We know it's been a while since Book 1 ended, but we promise that it'll be worth the wait. There'll be plenty of bloodcurdling adventures and heartstopping romance! Stay tuned for more early sneak peeks and news. In the meantime, we have another paranormal book planned, one that'll make you howl at the moon We don't have a release date for Hero: Book 2, but when we do, the Choices community will be the first to know.

The writing for Book 2 is in progress, but we're not sure when we'll have the art ready, especially given its unique art style. We want to get Hero 2 right -- unfortunately, that means it may launch in When will Most Wanted come off hiatus? Will we get a Most Wanted: Book 2? As you know, Most Wanted continues to be on hiatus. When the time is right, we intend to revisit Most Wanted. And of course, we'll let you know ASAP if there's new developments!

When is Across the Void coming back? Why is it on break? Across the Void is on a mid-book break right now as the team gears up for more interstellar adventures! In the past, books like The Royal Romance and Endless Summer have gone on break to give our team more time to put out the best chapters possible without placing too much pressure on the writing, art, and QA teams. Across the Void should return this spring.

When it's ready for take-off again, we'll post online with more news! Why do you make new books instead of completing sequels? Going into , our team wanted to try out new stories and expand the Choices library. With this goal in mind, we worked to release stories and genres we've never tried before -- such as paranormal romance, sci-fi, and historical fiction.

That's how we ended up with Bloodbound, Perfect Match, and many others! Exploring new stories taught us a lot and helped focus our vision for Deciding which books to make often depends on a variety of factors -- like popularity, resources, art budget, what's right for the story, timing, and other elements. At any given time, we often have several books, both new ones and sequels, in development.

Different books have different teams, so when a new book comes out, fear not! They're all in the works! Keep an eye out for sneak peeks, cover reveals, and release dates And thanks to everyone who voted on who should return for AME Book 2! As for Red Carpet Diaries, we don't have a release date for it yet, but your Hollywood adventures will continue in ! Pro-tip: If you want the latest news, just follow us on social media!

Our most up-to-date info is always on social media, guaranteed. Will we get more free diamonds? When will the diamond rewards bug be fixed? First and foremost, we apologize if you've encountered issues with the diamonds-for-ads feature. That's something we've been working on fixing, and hope to address in the next game update. Expect to see the first fruits of these tests coming soon!

Why do some books have a female-only player character? Will there be more gender options in the future? We absolutely hear you on this front. As to why, it depends on the book.

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In the coming year, we'll be launching a mix of single gender books and books with more gender options. And for those asking: Yes, The Heist: Monaco will have male and female player character options! Are there going to be new books and genres in ? You know the answer to this one: Yes, absolutely! We're super excited to share all the books we have with you -- new books and sequels alike!

Get ready to run from the law, solve medical mysteries, sail the open seas, and much, much more! If you liked our books, just wait for I've got more questions! How do I get them answered? Good question, hypothetical Choices reader! You can also reach out to our Community Team by messaging us on Facebook, or tweeting us on Twitter.

It's that simple! Contact us if you need game support, have questions, or just want to say hey. We'd love to hear from you! And how about a behind-the-scenes look back on ? For our team, this year has been about growing our capacity to tell more stories. With the encouragement of Nexon, we continued to grow the number of writers, artists, designers, engineers, QA, and other teams at Pixelberry.

At times, when we found really great writers, we grew a little faster than anticipated. While this stretched us more than expected, it also will make this December our most prolific yet when it comes to number of new chapters released. And thanks to our office coordinators, we've kept that fun Pixelberry spirit alive with launch parties, birthday celebrations, and boba runs. We also had a blast this year branching out into new genres with stories like Desire and Decorum, Perfect Match, and Bloodbound.

We hit a few bumps in the road along the way, for which we're very sorry. One of our biggest challenges this year was finding great engineers to help us release new features for Choices. But we did hire a Director of Engineering who hit the ground running and has recently helped us add more engineering capacity, which will let us add features faster next year. Overall, we're so grateful to be ending with a larger, stronger team ready to go full-steam ahead creating new Choices adventures in But what we're most grateful for are all of you who have supported us with your 5-star reviews, encouraging messages, stunning fanart, patience when we make mistakes, and constructive suggestions for improvements.

Your passion powers us through brain blocks, problems, and stressful times. Thank you so much for that. We truly feel blessed to have a fan community that shares our love for stories. Fall is almost over, but we've got one more new Choices book for you! A Courtesan of Rome makes its debut on November 14th, and we couldn't be more excited for our second work of historical fiction. This time around, you'll fight for vengeance, seek out love, and navigate the treacherous waters of the political scene in Ancient Rome.

Before all that, let's check in with the writers Set the stage for us. What's the story of A Courtesan of Rome? JBH: In ancient Rome, courtesans occupied a really unique place in society -- as the only women allowed in many men-only spaces, they were educated, politically active, and influential in a way that wasn't possible for most women at the time. A daughter of a former chieftain of Gaul, you were captured by Caesar's forces years ago. Now that you've risen to move as an equal among the senators and elite of Rome, you must seek your vengeance on the men who massacred your tribe, search for your scattered family, and perhaps find unexpected love in a city where everyone is an enemy.

A Courtesan of Rome is a step back in history for Choices. What do you think sets A Courtesan of Rome apart from other Choices books? What kind of story are you trying to tell? While romance is a huge part of the storyline, it takes place on a backdrop of dramatic historical events, giving you a chance to take part in gladiatorial blood sports, religious mystery cults, brutal battles, and Machiavellian political maneuverings I think what really sets "A Courtesan of Rome" apart is the epic scope.

The fall of the Roman Republic is one of the most consequential times in all of European history, and the people involved are household names more than two thousand years later! Giving players a window into what it must have been like living in Rome at that time -- and a chance to shape that history in large and small ways -- is extremely gratifying to me as a historical fiction buff.

Jake: In this book, it's not always cut and dried who your friends and enemies are, and we really let you pull the strings in all this political intrigue if you play your cards right. Also, we get to write gladiator fights, and it's sweet.

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There's something in this book for everyone! As with any historical book, lots of research is a must! How did you go about tackling research and brainstorming? There were definitely a few different historical fiction epics that were big influences on this story, including Manda Scott's "Boudica" series and Kate Quinn's "Mistresses of Rome" series both set a little later in the Empire , and Robert Harris's absolutely amazing Cicero trilogy which covers this exact time period from the point of view of Caesar's enemy Cicero.

The more moment-to-moment research was sometimes difficult because there is just so much information to sift through. What we think of as "Rome," lasted for over a thousand years, and included an early kingdom, the Republican period we're set in, and many hundreds of years of Empire after. So, it's not always easy to find exactly the information you want! This means I should probably put the standard historical novelist disclaimer here: While we tried to stick to the broad outline of the important events that happened at this time, the needs of the story always took precedence.

So, if there was ever a question of "this character was really married at this time, but we think he would be a really great love interest Who are you rooting for in this book? Who's your fave character? JBH: Haha, as a writer, I'm always rooting for my characters to suffer as much as possible, and for players to walk away from a chapter desperate to know how they can possibly survive!

My favorite character to write for this book was definitely Marc Antony, who is a really fun combination of puppet master and rule-breaking anarchist. He and the main character start as enemies, but when sparks fly between them, players will have to decide whether or not they want to risk using that sexual tension to manipulate Antony. Jake: My favorite character to write is probably Sabina. Her character arc throughout the book was really special to me.

I feel really lucky to be able to address some more serious topics with her. I hope our fans connect to her struggles and her character. The people must know. Will we get to date any historical figures? Jake: There might be one or two, though they're a lot hotter in A Courtesan of Rome than their statues are. JBH: I guess I just gave that away in the last question! Yes, both Marc Antony and Cassius Longinus who eventually masterminds the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar are love interests in the book.

And lastly, any final words for our players about to play A Courtesan of Rome tomorrow? Jake: Those who are about to read, we salute you. Check your Choices game tomorrow for A Courtesan of Rome!

Winter's nearly here, and that means more of Choices -- you'll need your skills, your wits, and the right people for the job in our next Choices book! Thanks so much for playing! Halloween's almost here, and at Pixelberry, we're celebrating with new spooky and spellbinding stories.

On Wednesday, The Elementalists launched with its first chapter. Now that Chapter 2 is out as well, let's chat with The Elementalists writers But make sure you've played Chapter 2 first! I know you can't spell out everything that happens in The Elementalists, but can you tell us a little bit about it? Chelsa: This project has been a dream of mine ever since I started working at Pixelberry two years ago, and it's still hard to believe they actually let me take the reins on this one. I won't spoil anything, but I can tell you that the whole team - writers, art, QA, everyone involved - put many, MANY long hours and their blood, sweat, and tears into this project.

So basically, if you don't like it, I'll cry. Maya: Well, if you've ever dreamed of being sucked through a portal and spit out at a magickal university, your dreams are about to come true! Essentially, you're pulled into a world you don't believe you can be a part of at first, but it doesn't take long for your powers to start revealing themselves. But if you didn't know you could do magick, what other mysteries about you have been hiding just beneath the surface? The Elementalists is our newest fantasy story. What about this fantastical world are you most excited for players to encounter?

Chelsa: We've got a lot of new features and art in this book that I'm very excited to show off to players! The cool spell graphics and amazing new backgrounds are just the tip of the iceberg. And of course, learning spells Maya: Magick! Magick in The Elementalists feels so welcoming to me. The friends you meet are so excited to introduce you to the world, and there's something wonderfully intuitive about the magickal system we've created Emi: Honestly, I think I'm most excited for readers to meet the main cast and watch them grow.

Every good fantasy has a core group of friends fighting for what they believe in, and I hope players fall in love with ours as much as we have. How did you tackle worldbuilding for The Elementalists? What was the inspiration for the element attunement system? Chelsa: This is definitely something I've spent a loooong time thinking about see question 1.

I wanted to create something familiar, with all of the elements that fantasy fans love about a fantasy school book, while also creating something that feels entirely new. This book is a frankenstein of things that I love, things that got the team excited while we were brainstorming, and things that we thought the fans would go crazy over.

One of the first things that I decided was that Penderghast would be set in our world, current day, but hidden. The Attuned understand technology, are involved in Attuneless politics, and live alongside the Attuneless -- though of course, they still have to keep magick a secret to maintain the status quo. It's the very best of both worlds! Maya: We wanted to create something familiar and accessible, but not wholly done before, so we talked a lot about things we've seen in fantasy that we enjoy, as well as things we wished to see. I think this world is so dear to us because it's an amalgam of so many things we cherish, imbued with our own magickal spark.

Jessica: So when I was a wee child attending Chinese school shoutout to all the Asian American kids who had to go to Saturday school! During Elementalists brainstorms, we riffed on the premise of having a core something as the base for creating meaning, or in our case, magick. We settled on the classical elements as the foundation, and threw a few of our own into the mix as well. To perform magick, you have to channel the elements, and of course, everyone has an affinity to one or two -- kind of like having a college major, but also general education requirements! Emi: While building the Attunement quiz, I spent a lot of time delving into the history and uses of elements in different cultures You should see the number of research docs I made!

I wanted the Attunements to feel linked to the classical elements, but to also have their own unique spin. We spent a couple brainstorms figuring out the quiz answers and how they related to their elements. We tried to create a quiz that players could answer honestly, without necessarily guessing which answer is linked to which Attunement. Chelsa: Air-Att 4 life!! I am also a libra, so it's very fitting. Emi: I'm a Metal-Att!

Let me make a detailed and organized plan to tackle any challenge! Jessica: Earth, which is weirdly fitting for me. I feel called out. Do you have a favorite character in The Elementalists? Which character do you relate to the most? Chelsa: My absolute favorite character to write is He's just such a pain, and I love writing people who are difficult to get along with. Emi: Aster is my girl! I love how excited and eager she is to learn about the world.

I just want to give her a big hug. As for character I relate to the most, probably Beckett.


Maya: My favorites to write are hands down Zeph and Beckett. They seem so different, but neither are as put together as they'd like you to believe relatable. Jessica: I can't stick with one fave, so I'll say Shreya and Griffin. Shreya's just a whole lot of fun, and someone I would want to date IRL. And I love seeing Griffin, this chill Sophomore, thrown into the trials and tribulations of all these hapless Freshmen. Any final tips for readers about to embark on their Penderghast adventure? Chelsa: You'll have many opportunities to gain new spells throughout the book.

My tip is to try to learn them all. You'll never know what a situation will call for Emi: Your Attunement will play a role in how you use magick and how you react to the events of the story! I recommend playing to your strengths. Maya: Watch your back Danger lurks in the shadows. Bring on the magick!

What's your elemental attunement? And follow along online for sneak peeks of what's next in Choices Turn off the lights, turn up the sound, and tune into It Lives Beneath for the fright of your life But before that, let's talk to our resident horror writers! Kathleen: It Lives Beneath is set in the same world as It Lives in the Woods, but with a new town, new cast, and new monsters hiding around every corner. You play as a college student who has no experience with the supernatural You quickly find yourself thrown in the deep end, as it were, questioning the very nature of your reality.

In this book, we really wanted to build on the mythology of the Power that we established in Book 1. Will we see any old friends from It Lives in the Woods in this book? And by that, I mean, where's Andy Kang? Kathleen: I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that while we've moved on to a new setting, life has continued on in the little town of Westchester. You may see familiar faces here and there, and an old friend may show up to offer help in a time of need. It all depends on where you left things at the end of Book 1! So, a new story means a new cast, new friends, and new people to date!

Who's your favorite date-able character? Kathleen: Tom, no question. He's a total nerd, but he's also an extremely thoughtful guy and the most loyal friend you'll ever meet. Honestly, I've been waiting for this ever since we first got his art back and said "Oh no Brandon: Probably Imogen. I love all of our children equally, but she's really fun to write for. Major props to our art team!

It Lives in the Woods introduced a particularly harrowing Nerve score system. Will there be more of that in It Lives Beneath? What are you looking forward to players encountering? Brandon: Nerve scores will be returning, though the system won't be exactly the same as players remember. Without spoiling too much, one of our goals for It Lives Beneath was for Nerve to have more of an effect throughout the whole book, rather than the final fates at the end. But rest assured, you and all your friends can totally still die. Kathleen: What Brandon said. When we rolled out the Nerve score in Book 1, we learned a lot about what worked well and what could use improvement.

Hopefully, the tweaks we made will make Nerve even more compelling in Book 2! I've definitely seen some pretty terrifying stuff from It Lives Beneath. Thanks for the nightmare fodder, guys. On a scale of , how scary would you rate this book? So I'd give it a Take time to think and plan. I was being pushed by teachers, friends and family to study medicine, but I knew I wanted to study more fundamental aspects of science than that. It took months of thinking to know exactly what it was that interested me most.

Whatever your exam results may be, you are turning the page of a new chapter — an exciting, and as yet unscripted story. Make sure you enjoy this period. While everything may seem a bit up in the air, it is likely you will look back on your school leaving as one of the best periods of your life, before the realities of everyday life and paying bills come into play. In school, I was blissfully unaware of how to financially navigate the real world — I had to work this out for myself.

APR, insurance and overdrafts were like a foreign language to me, and it seems I was not alone. According to a recent study , more than a third of people wish there had been lessons in school on how to budget, a further third would have appreciated classes on the importance of insurance. I wish that before I left school somebody had told me to stop worrying about what the future held and to make the most of the present time. One tip I would give to school leavers is to use summer holidays and spare time wisely.

Research has shown that students who have a gap year achieve more highly at university than students who enter university straight after school and mature age students. Having worked in a number of different countries it is true, travel really does broaden the mind. Do something that will enrich your life and that will take you out of your comfort zone.

Employers will always look favourably on the efforts taken by go getters who have gone out and done work experience.