I’ve been on a two-week Blog Tour through Chapter by Chapter, which means Moonburner is being featured all around the web! I had a lot of fun writing guest posts for the various blogs, but my favorite was this post on The Silver Dagger Scriptorium, which asked me to list my ten favorite books!
Any nerdy book-lover will know that it’s near impossible to narrow the favorites list down that far, so I did favorite books/series. As I was writing, I realized how each of these influenced my writing style, and in particular, my first novel Moonburner. If you haven’t read some of these, do yourself a favor and check them out!
Wheel of Time series, Robert Jordan
This is the series that kindled my love of fantasy. I still have all my paperbacks from when I was a teenager, so dog-eared that the covers have fallen off the first seven of them. They are sprawling, epic and complex. Even though the series sags a bit towards the middle, it is worth it to push through, and the end is SO satisfying.
Harry Potter series, JK Rowling
Well, obviously these are on the list. This is the series that kindled my love of YA. It taught me and the world that a story can be magical and silly but still be powerful and poignant. That a story about chocolate frogs and flying brooms can capture the hearts of adults everywhere. If I was trapped on a desert island and could only pick one series, it would be this one.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, Laini Taylor
This series taught me the importance of a good hook. As soon as I started reading the first book, I HAD to know what was up with the teeth. (If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about!). And her blue hair. And the wishbone. And her strange monstrous family. The mysteries in this book pulled you in and demanded to be solved. I tried to emulate this great hook with “The Gleaming” in the prologue of Moonburner.
Graceling, Kristin Cashore
This book showed me the importance of a kick-ass heroine. Katsa has such a tough exterior, but somehow maintains her innocence on the inside. Or longs to. I loved reading her story, and I tried to write my main character, Kai, with as much of a dichotomy.
First Law trilogy, Joe Abercrombie
Abercrombie’s books taught me the importance of a good anti-hero. His characters are pretty terrible human beings: torturers, mercenaries, cowardly soldiers. But you LOVE them despite all of this. These books are dark and messy, but so engrossing. I didn’t get to write in much of an anti-hero into Moonburner, but I am looking forward to tackling this trope in one of my future works.
The Magicians trilogy, Lev Grossman
These books illustrate the importance of fun and humor. These are hilarious and irreverent; I frequently found myself laughing out loud. They feel modern, like they are written to the millennial generation. It turns out fantasy doesn’t have to be old-timey and stuffy! I tried to incorporate humor into Moonburner, especially in the character of Quitsu, Kai’s fox companion. It’s important not to take yourself too seriously!
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
This book is the least like the others on the list. But I loved it because of the incredible level of detail he reached in describing the world. I don’t really know anything about the 1980s or video games, but I felt like a pro after reading this book. It was such a fun romp through someone else’s passion; I strive to create a world of such detail in the books I write!
The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
So, I am basically in awe of this series, and he’s only two books in! It is my aspirational series on the list. The creativity of this fantasy world and magic system, and the sheer number of plot lines, is astounding. I don’t think I could write 500 pages about men hauling a bridge and keep people engrossed, but Sanderson does. This series is going to be EPIC when it is done. So impressive.
Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins
Of course I get warm fuzzies when I think of this one. This is a series that sucks you in and won’t let you put it down until its 3 in the morning and you’re finally done. I tried to make Moonburner a page turner like The Hunger Games: fast and furious but still with characters you adore.
Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
This is the newest addition to my list, I just read it a few months ago, after Moonburner was written. It’s not often that you find a book that is action-packed but ALSO has great character development, but this one does. This Ocean’s Eleven style heist tale had such a great world and a great crew. I hope to create such great depth of character and inter-character dynamics in all my books!
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