My Favorite Bit: Lauren Skidmore talks about WHAT IS HIDDEN

My Favorite Bit iconLauren Skidmore is joining us today with her novel What is Hidden. Here’s the publisher’s description.

In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of What Is Hidden.

What’s Lauren’s favorite bit?



My favorite bit is towards the end and rather spoilerly, but it was such a big part of why I chose to write What is Hidden that I have to talk about it. I’ll just be a bit vague.

In Venesia, the island nation where this story takes place, the people wear masks as a sign of public identity and rank. Different colors indicate different trades, and different shades within those colors indicate rank. Without their masks, they are stripped of that, left only with what is inside themselves. These masks are so valued by the people that when the main character, Evie, is trapped in a burning building, she secures her mask before trying to escape.

But in addition to simply covering the wearer’s face, these masks have the potential to cover Marks, which are identifying brands or scars, and are almost always given to criminals.

So taking off your mask and revealing your true face is a big deal, the ultimate sign of trust. Especially if you have a Mark.

The scene that was my favorite part involves two characters removing their masks. It’s a very scary thing to do, to reveal your true self, and something I think a lot of people can relate to, because you don’t always know how the other person is going to act. Will they accept you? Will they laugh at you? Will they want nothing more to do with you? You don’t really know until you do it, and both characters involved are hiding something.

This was my favorite bit because while we don’t wear colorful masks in our world today (sadly), we do wear metaphorical masks. And, for a lot of people, they are really difficult to take off. There is so much emotion involved, and so much riding on the decision to let someone get that close to you that I just loved writing about it.


Author website:

Book Page with order links:



Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

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