After chatting to Ben (you guys will know him as Benjaminoftomes on YouTube - and yes, he is COE of the micro-publishing company who is publishing this story) about this story and a few others, he asked if I would be involved in this blog tour, and I become excited. And, after chatting to Esther via email about a few ideas for this stop, Esther revealed the five books that influenced her as a writer. So, to both Ben and Esther, thank you for your time and help on this!
And now, onto those books! Have you read them?
Called the “Adult Harry Potter” - this 800 page book written in an old-English style, with a ton of footnotes and a first chapter so dense that many a reader has given up on this gem before they even began, influenced my writing in a huge way. It’s a wonderful story - about two rival magicians in England seeking to bring magic back to the land, and it’s utterly absorbing. I wanted it to be 8000 pages! Quite possibly my favourite book.
I never wanted to read this series because I didn’t want to see what happened to Cassandra Clare - I was one of those rabid readers in the early 2000s who logged onto FictionAlley.net every week to get my daily dose of The Draco Trilogy - Clare’s infamous Harry Potter fan fiction that was just too incredible for words. However, City of Bones did not disappoint, and in fact influenced a particular chapter in Gabriel and the Swallows! Can you tell which one?
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Wow. This book. A contemporary drama about a girl who tastes all the emotions a person has felt preparing dishes - she learns terrible truths about her family and this awful gift nearly lends to her ruin. A completely absorbing one-of-a-kind story I could not put down. And when I learned the truth about her brother - never in my life has a passage in a book affected me like that!
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
A detailed look at the life of a Whitechapel prostitute and her rise to riches in this Victorian novel. It’s so detailed it hurts, and Faber is this generation’s master story teller. A disturbing, illuminating read and a masterpiece for any writer to aspire toward.
Imagine you are attending the birthday celebrations of a famous South American political leader when a guerrilla terrorist troupe takes over the venue and traps you and all the other esteemed foreign guests inside. This tale, about the relationships that develop between these people (centred around a Japanese diplomat, a famous opera singer, a translator and a teen girl soldier) in the midst of duress is the best piece of writing out there. Recommend to anyone and everyone!