Though a proud Portlander, Kate Samuels admits that her home city would be much improved by the presence of castles and clotted cream. She encountered an abundance of both during a sophomore semester abroad at Cardiff University, where she studied Welsh mythology and kept a travel blog titled Wales Watching: Misadventures of a Globetrotting Introvert.
Two years later, she wrote The Fifth Branch on various trains, buses, metro platforms, and coffeeshop patios across Europe over a series of long weekends. She thinks she might also have been taking a full course load in Amsterdam at the time. It’s a bit of a blur.