“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free rein so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.
Today’s guest is our dear friend Karen Mahoney – writer of UF/YA whose second book – The Wood Queen – is coming out this month in the US, UK and Australia. We had to invite Kaz to talk about her inspirations and influences – so here she is, ladies and gents…
First of all, thanks for having me over. I always love to talk bookish things with my smuggling buddies!
The Wood Queen is the second novel I have published and the second book in a trilogy. If you think it gets easier the more work you publish, I am here to tell you that you have it all wrong. Second novels are more laden with expectations: the ones we put on ourselves, those from our editor/publisher, and of course the ones we should quite rightly expect from our readers. All these things conspire to make it extra tricky to get that second story out there.
Thank goodness, I managed it and – amazingly – I’m quite proud of the result! The Wood Queen sees things get more complicated for Donna Underwood, and she has to become a stronger person as a result. I love writing a YA heroine who is figuring out her own path and trying to solve her own problems.
In the spirit of the regular Inspirations & Influences posts that The Book Smugglers host from other authors, here is a short list of Three Things That Inspired/Influenced The Wood Queen:
1. ‘The Handless Maiden’ or ‘Girl with Silver Hands’ folklore from all over the world. I talked about this at length elsewhere when The Iron Witch came out, and it remains an influence over the entire trilogy.
2. Donna Troy, a character from DC Comics (she used to be Wonder Girl in her younger days), who is definitely an inspiration for my Donna Underwood.
3. Roger Bacon, a thirteenth century English alchemist was said to have carried out all kinds of magical experiments. He seems like a fascinating character: a friar, who hundreds of years after his death had more and more sorcery attached to his name and reputation. He was a man of faith and a man of science, that much seems clear, but there are some rich legends that I dug into and ‘borrowed’ for one particular character in The Wood Queen.
Thanks Kaz! And now for the giveaway…
Courtesy of the author, we are giving away two signed copies of The Wood Queen and the two winners get to choose which edition they like best (covers above). In order to enter, simply leave a comment here telling us what’s your favourite folklore-inspired story. The contest is open to ALL and will run till February 11 at 11:59PM (PST). Only one entry per person, please – multiple comments will be disqualified. Good luck!