Today I have a guest post from author Tina LeCount Myers talking about the books that have inspired her, on the tour for her book Dreams of the Dark Sky.
In the aftermath of a devastating clash between gods and men, two unlikely allies, one immortal and one human, must band together to survive in the sequel to the epic fantasy debut The Song of All.
The war between men and immortals that raged across the frozen Northland of Davvieana has ended. For men, the balance of power between Believer and Brethren, between honoring the gods and honoring the sword, has shifted to favor priests over Hunters.
But it is the legacy of one man’s love for his son that shapes the lives of all who survived.
While Irjan, the once-legendary immortal hunter, has saved his son’s life, he cannot save Marnej from the men who will make him a killer, nor can he save the immortal girl he’d promised to protect from the secret of her birth.
Raised by Irjan among the immortals, Dárja has been trained to fight by a man who once hunted her kind. Prisoner among the humans, her hatred for them is challenged by the chance to give Irjan what he has always wanted?his son Marnej returned to him.
Together, Marnej and Dárja, human and immortal, must find a way to trust one another if they are to live long enough to learn the truth behind the secrets and lies that have forged their lives.
When I think of the books that have inspired me, I’m reminded of the Lloyd Alexander quote:
We don’t need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives.
As a child, I adored Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. In its main character, I saw a little girl, not unlike myself, learning how to belong. But it was the descriptions of the garden and the natural world that stayed with me as a writer. When I started writing The Legacy of the Heavens series, I wanted to create a world that emphasized the power of connecting with and being part of nature.
In high school, I might’ve been the only junior in my class not to groan when assigned portions of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, because I’d already read it—all 1,232 pages. The book was huge, on so many levels. From the emotional angst, appealing directly to my teen heart, to the struggle against larger forces— think about a teen whose parents weren’t letting her go to the mall with her friends on Friday night. When I look at my writing now, I see Hugo’s large cast of characters reflected in my own desire to tell an epic story from multiple points of view.
When I read Kate Elliott’s Jaran series as a Ph.D. student on the fast track to burn out, I fell in love with the scope of the epic narrative she’d imagined. In it, I saw a bigger picture in my own life. As a writer, I aspire to Elliott’s complex vision of story and character arcs, but must rely on storyboards filled with notations and images to keep me on track.
Finally, Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient is a book I return to again and again. I find the story emotionally compelling. But it’s the author’s use of language that captivates me. I long for the level of mastery that transforms ordinary words into a sigh in the reader’s mind. I’m not there yet. I may never be. But I’m inspired to keep trying.
My moments of inspiration have come and gone. Some were fruitful, others merely ephemeral. But the books that have inspired me have stayed with me.
But we never lose the old favorites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.—Lloyd Alexander
Tina LeCount Myers is a writer, artist, independent historian, and surfer. Born in Mexico to expat-bohemian parents, she grew up on Southern California tennis courts with a prophecy hanging over her head; her parents hoped she’d one day be an author. The Song of All is her debut novel.