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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)