Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Shadowlark Blog Tour & Giveaway: Meagan Spooner on Inspirations & Influences

Greetings, friends! Today we are thrilled to have Meagan Spooner as our guest of the day as we host a stop on the blog tour celebrating her newest book, Shadowlark. The second novel in a YA dystopian series that blends fantasy with technology, Shadowlark is the sequel to Skylark (which Thea read and very much enjoyed last year).

SHADOWLARK Meagan Spooner

Here to share the music, movies, and other books that influenced Shadowlark, please give a warm welcome to Meagan Spooner.


Inspiration can be hard to pinpoint. While I know exactly where the initial seed of the idea for the Skylark trilogy originated, as well as the inspiration for Lark, my heroine, all the little pieces that come together to make a living, breathing world full of characters and plot twists… those are harder to trace back to their sources. Everything I write comes from somewhere, though, and I love it when people spot influences in my work that I didn’t even know were there.

Prometheus Submersion in Lethe

Mythology certainly plays a big role in Shadowlark. The underground city in which Lark finds herself is called Lethe, named for the river in the Greek underworld responsible for making shades forget their former lives. Their dictatorial leader, Prometheus, is named for the titan who took pity on benighted humanity and stole them fire from the other gods.

Books were also a huge inspiration for me while writing both Skylark and Shadowlark. Lois Lowry’s The Giver was the book that first triggered a love of dystopian fiction when I was very young, and I reread it often. The novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (note that the book was very different from the movie!) was also a great source of inspiration when it came to developing my own monsters, the shadow men, which Lark deals with in both books.

The giver I Am Legend

And film lovers won’t be able to miss elements from shows like “Doctor Who” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” There’s one scene in particular in Shadowlark that I don’t think I would have written the way I did if it weren’t for the effect Buffy had on me growing up. My editor, Andrew Karre, also a Whedon fan, spotted it instantly, which was great—it meant I have a little homage in there to a writer who affected me greatly.

I often get asked by aspiring writers about influences, and how sometimes they realize after writing something that they were influenced by a book, or a movie; and they’re always panicked or distressed, thinking they have to rewrite what they’ve done. But the thing is, everything we create is a product of our experiences. No, you shouldn’t lift something whole cloth from an already-existing work of art. But neither can you produce art in a vacuum; we’re all multi-faceted compilations of everything we’ve seen or read or heard throughout our lifetimes. It all gets broken down in our minds into our own unique sort of compost, which fertilizes our creativity. Bits of what we’ve experienced will always, always resurface in our work.

Buffy doctor_who_50th_poster_portrait

J.R.R. Tolkein said it best when, upon being asked how he created Middle-Earth and the story of Lord of the Rings, he replied: “Such a story … grows like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mould of mind: out of all that has been seen or thought or read, that has long ago been forgotten, descending into the deeps.”


About the Book:


Ever since she escaped the city within the Wall, Lark Ainsley’s wanted one thing: to find her brother Basil. She’s always believed he would be the one to put an end to the constant fear and flight. And now, hidden underground in the chaotically magical city of Lethe, Lark feels closer to him than ever.

But Lethe is a city cowering in fear of its founder, the mysterious Prometheus, and of his private police force. To get the truth about what happened to Basil, Lark has no choice but to face Prometheus.

Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.

Lark never asked to be anyone’s savior. She certainly never wanted to be anyone’s weapon. She might not have a choice.

About the Author:

Meagan Spooner is the author of the Skylark Trilogy; Skylark, the first in the series, came out last year and its sequel, Shadowlark, will be available from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books Oct. 1, 2013. She is also the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in a young adult science fiction trilogy available from Disney-Hyperion Dec. 10, 2013. She’s traveled all over the world, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes. She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

You can learn more about Meagan on her website, and follow her on twitter, facebook, pinterest, and on goodreads.

The Blog Tour:

Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more Shadowlark goodness!

Monday, September 23: Review – Xpresso Reads
Tuesday, September 24: Interview – Two Chicks on Books
Wednesday, September 25: Review – Good Books and Good Wine
Thursday, September 26: Guest Post – Fantasy Book Addict
Friday, September 27: Review – Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, September 30: Review – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
Tuesday, October 1: Guest Post – The Book Smugglers
Wednesday, October 2: Review – Anna Reads
Thursday, October 3: Interview – Literary Rambles
Friday, October 4: Review – YA Sisterhood


The Giveaway:


We have 2 giveaways you can enter!

Regular Ol’ Giveaway

First, there’s the regular ol’ giveaway of Skylark and Shadowlark. This giveaway is open to all, and will run until Saturday October 5 at 11:59pm EST. To enter, use the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize Giveaway

Then, there’s the whole enchilada! We have an additional copy of Skylark and Shadowlark up for grabs. The winner will also win either a query critique (if an aspiring author) OR a pre-order copy of These Broken Stars (Meagan Spooner’s new series co-written with Amie Kaufman).

The grand prize giveaway is open to ALL, however prizing varies: should a resident of the US/Canada win, they will receive signed copies of Skylark AND Shadowlark. Should an international resident win, they will receive unsigned copies of both books sent via Book Depository. This contest will run from September 23 – October 6 with the winner being chosen on October 7.

In order to enter, use the form below. (P.S. Our password is Lethe.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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  • Rachel
    October 1, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Wow, what great influences! Buffy, Doctor Who, The Giver (just finished reading it for the first time and loved it–I wish I’d found it when I was a bit younger), and then mythology to top it off.

  • Justine
    October 1, 2013 at 12:27 am

    I can’t think of a fantasy dystopian I’ve read. I’ll have to think harder!

  • Carl
    October 1, 2013 at 12:30 am

    My favorite is the film, Brazil by Terry Gilliam.

  • Rachel
    October 1, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Hah, I forgot to answer the Giveaway question in my comment above. Here goes:
    What is your favorite book, film, tv series, or other media that combines fantasy and dystopian elements?
    Well, Doctor Who is a good start. (Only select episodes have a fantasy/dystopian element, but I think it still counts.)
    I loved the book “Insignia” by S. J. Kincaid, but that’s more scifi than fantasy, so I’m not sure if it counts.

  • Allison
    October 1, 2013 at 1:58 am

    I can’t think of any I’ve read! Just regular old fantasy and regular old dystopia, these will be my first!

  • Jessica Noreault
    October 1, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Hmm..I suppose my favorite book with dystopian / fantasy elements is the Birthmarked Trilogy by Caragh M. O’Brien. Its really good plot wise, writing wise, and character wise.

  • Rachel
    October 1, 2013 at 3:00 am

    I think my favourite fantasy-dystopia mashup is probably the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews – awesome characters and plot in an absolutely terrible world.

  • Gerd D.
    October 1, 2013 at 6:18 am

    My favourite as a child was the comic series “Andrax” – by Jordi Bernet – a fantasy, post-apocalyptic SF mash-up:

    I wonder what I would think these days about it. 🙂

  • Sarann
    October 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

    These books have been on my To read list, but those inspirations might have bumped them up.

    Hard question. I have warm, fuzzy, nostalgia feelings about the giver, but at the moment it might be Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.

  • Nara
    October 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Not 100% sure that it counts, but Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff has elements of a dystopian as well as elements of fantasy. Also, it’s Japanese steampunk, so that’s a plus!

    Or maybe The Knife of Never Letting Go? I think that counts as a fantasy/dystopian because of the being able to read people’s minds thing 🙂

  • Emma
    October 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

    That’s a tough question. One of my all-time favorite dystopia books is Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars, and that could have fantasy elements, I guess, if you squint.

  • superbwg
    October 1, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Hmmm, I really enjoyed the Trickster duo with the mad rulers by Tamora Pierce. I also like to think of Wonderland as a bit of a fantasy/dystopia. Can’t wait to read these books

  • Kelley (Another Novel Read)
    October 1, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Fantastic post! I didn’t realize there was going to be so much Greek mythology influence in Shadowlark, but now I am even more intrigued! To be honest, I think my favorite book that combines dystopian and fantasy elements is Skylark!! It has such a unique combination of ideas! 🙂

  • Sophia D
    October 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

    My fav would have to be Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica series!

  • Chenise J.
    October 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Not sure if this actually fits but I absolutely love Firefly!

  • Lillian Maloney
    October 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I don’t know if this particularly qualifies, but I love Supernatural.

  • mary anne
    October 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I just finished Robin McKinley’s “Shadows” which pretty nicely contains both fantasy and dystopia, but I think her book “Sunshine” was even better and contained both. I also remember a couple of books I read years ago about a dystopic Ireland, post apocalyptic, with a hero/heroine resurrecting parts of Irish mythology. Can’t remember the author’s name for the life of me, but the books stuck with me – I remmeber them being fast paced but pretty dark.

  • Vivien
    October 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness!

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    October 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    The Stand, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Revolution and Fringe. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. I would love to read these books.

  • erinf1
    October 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  • Gaby Metivier
    October 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Mmm, this is a tough one… The only dystopian-fantasy book I’ve read that I can think of right now is the Gone series, by Michael Grant… I’m not sure it qualifies but it’s all I’ve got 😕

  • Llehn
    October 2, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Hunger Games the book is still my fav!

  • Ashfa
    October 2, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Defiance was great, as was Stormdancer.

  • Becky C.
    October 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Got to be the Giver because it is the one who started me in the genre. I love it forever!

  • Filia Oktarina
    October 2, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I don’t know. Defiance, i think 🙂

  • Kelly
    October 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Skylark sounds like a neat, steampunk-ish read.

  • Kelly
    October 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    The Razorland trilogy is so far one of my favourite dystopian.

  • Skye @ Skye's Scribblings
    October 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I’m not sure about my favorite, but a recent dystopian fantasy I liked was Crewel by Gennifer Albin. The world is AMAZING!

    I’m DYING to read these books – thanks for the giveaway! XD

  • Jenna
    October 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Jannie Lee Simner’s Bones of Fairy trilogy is addicting. They’re provocative, lovely, and a little disturbing.

  • Jillian T
    October 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I love the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Also For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. I think they kinda fit into that category.

  • LisaC
    October 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    The Terminator is about the only thing that comes to mind.

  • Mary Preston
    October 2, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I’m not sure I have read a book under the Fantasy Dystopian genre.

  • Claira Pam
    October 3, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I love Battlestar Galactica…maybe the Hunger Games?

  • Hebe
    October 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    The Dark Tower series, by Stephen King, definitely.

  • Serena
    October 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I think the His Dark Materials series would count as a dystopia/fantasy, and I’m re-reading it right now and enjoying it as much as ever!

  • Crystal
    October 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Does Divergent count? Oh! I loved For Darkness Shows the Stars. That should definitely count. 🙂

  • jennie
    October 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are the first that come to mind.

  • alicia marie
    October 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I usually go with the giver or the uglies series for my dystopian faves, but I’m not sure that those really qualify as fantasy too…

  • Danielle B
    October 4, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I really love Under the Never Sky and the TV show Supernatural.

  • Becky C.
    October 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Enjoyed knowing the inspiration for this book series!

  • Monica
    October 4, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Most recently, I finished watching Joss Whedon’s Angel, which is very fantasy, and also seems a little dystopian, especially season 5.

  • Kristen@MY Friends Are Fiction
    October 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Doctor Who for sure!

    My Friends Are Fiction

  • roro
    October 5, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I’m going with skylark.yup

  • Anna Mohr
    October 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Incarceron and Sapphique. Best books ever.

  • Anna M.
    October 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Incarceron and Sapphique are awesome, so are the Lunar Chronicle books (I love fairytales)

  • J.A. Ward
    October 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I would have to say The Giver. Absolutely LOVE that book.

  • Jieru
    October 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Hmmm I love a lot of dystopian stories and fantasy stories but I don’t think I’ve read one combined! I would love suggestions

  • January
    October 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I’m not sure which ones qualify as both… maybe The Giver and… Cinder?

  • January
    October 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Already typed but I don’t think it submitted…

    My favourites are The Giver and Cinder! Thanks for the giveaway! 😀

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