Author Kriston Johnson is here today with a guest post, as part of the tour for her young adult fantasy novel Awakened. Since I'm a big YA reader, I asked her to choose and discuss five YA and other books that inspired her. Her guest post is below, and check the bottom for a giveaway!
by Kriston Johnson
Series: The Legends Of Elyndia #1
Publication date: April 25th 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy
Can fighting for the right side be the wrong thing to do?
Draven, the tyrant ruler of Elyndia for the last one thousand years, searches for the one who can fulfill his prophecy.
The Paladins, an elite band of warriors sworn to protect their way of life at all cost, search for the one with the ability to bring their world crumbling down.
An innocent girl, tormented by demons only she can see, lives on the brink of insanity and longs for a life of peace.
When seventeen-year-old Jade Rosenberg reads from an antique book, she has no idea she just read an incantation awaking her inherited power. But when opposing—and equally terrifying—groups invade her home, she learns she is descended from an enchanted realm and a member of a powerful race thought to have been hunted to extinction.
Ripped from her world, Jade is forced to seek refuge from those who want her dead. She is given one of two options and the time has come for her to make a choice: assassinate their sworn enemy…
Or sacrifice her soul.
Hello ladies, I want to start with saying thank you for having me on your blog and chatting with me about Awakened.
Writers are often asked where they get their inspiration. The truth is, inspiration comes from a little of everywhere. I’ve had ideas come to me from real life people, movies, certain objects, and a lot of the time other books. Here are some examples of works that have inspired me during my journey as a writer.
I’m just going to get this one out of the way…*covers mouth and mumbles* Smimight. What did she say? Twilight…I said Twilight, okay! *insert collective moan* I know, I know, how many times have we heard new YA authors say they started writing after they read Twilight? But it really was one of the first steps in my journey to writing Awakened. I had been writing before I read Twilight, but that is the book that introduced me to YA. You can say Twilight was my gateway book.
The Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. I read this story years ago and it is one of my favorite reads. I would have to say the main character, Yelena, in a way helped me to find my own leading lady, Jade. Not so much in personality, but in both stories the protagonists are despised by a society they are forced to live in and death is a constant threat.
The Hunger Games. I love the writing style and the fast paced plot brought to us by the talented, Suzanne Collins. When writing we need to make sure everything we write is for a reason, and Collins does an excellent job foreshadowing future events. For instance, ****spoiler alert****when Katniss sees that Peta has picked nightlock berries, she gets upset and stops him from eating them. Then in the next scene she finds the berries have poisoned Foxface. That was a complete scene and we could have lived without hearing about the berries ever again. But no, they come into play at the very end and literally saves their lives. ***end of spoiler*** So how did this affect Awakened? Well I planted several easter eggs that may have little affect on the progress of the story, but gives us little clues to future events. I can’t really point out to many examples without spoiling things, but I can share one. There is a scene where Jade notices a painting with a beautiful angel and little blonde girl. Well, that angel and little girl are the protagonists in a future book.
Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. This one is for the writers. If you are a newbie writer in need of direction, this may be the best thing you could read. This is the closest thing you will ever get to a step-by-step on how to craft a novel. It doesn’t tell you how to write, but what it does do is explain the components of a story and where to place certain types of scenes to keep a steady pace. It explains themes, concepts, how to craft the perfect three-act structure, and how to keep conflict going without losing the plot.
Last but not least, I have to give a mention to…every single fantasy story I have ever read. It’s books like The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, and everything in between. I think back to when I was a kid and imagined myself playing with Christopher Robin in the Hundred Acre Wood, to now, listening to Puck and Ash bantering back and forth over a girl. Though these stories are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum, the one thing they have in common, is that they transport the reader to a make believe world. A world far from ordinary and far from our own mundane lives. These are the stories I dream of, escape to, and wish I could live in. These stories may only exist on the page, but they come to life in our minds. If it had not been for these tales, and the magic it taught me, Awakened probably would not exist.
Kriston Johnson lives in Southwest Washington with her husband, teenage son, and miniature Australian Shepherd. Her home rests at the fringe of an old growth forest that she insists is the home of Jason Voorhees. Her husband thinks that’s a ridiculous assumption, because everyone knows it’s really Bigfoot. Every summer Kriston participates in the annual pilgrimage to Faerieworlds, a real life faerie realm here on Earth, and has an unhealthy obsession with Star Wars, The Vampire Diaries, and Iron Man. Awakened is her first novel.
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