I am excited to welcome author Parker Blue to Literary Escapism. Her new novel, Bite Me, has just been released and it’s one that everyone should definitely check out. She’s here today to talk about some of her influences. Make sure you stick around for the contest. We’re giving away a copy of Bite Me.
I have a book out in October 2008 called Bite Me, a young adult urban fantasy from Bell Bridge Books and I’ve been anxiously awaiting feedback. Luckily, the first comment I saw, on another blog, was positive:
“Parker’s voice is edgy and smart. I smile as I read because this book takes me back to my Buffy days–yep, that kind of smart and sharp-edged humor. Love it.”
Kewl! She totally got it right. Yes, Bite Me has a vampire slayer in it and yes, I’ve been influenced by Buffy (after all, Joss Whedon is a god), but it made me wonder…is that a bad thing? Am I being too derivative? Too much of a copy cat?
No, wait. Val, my slayer, is different in that she’s part succubus. You know, part lust demon. That’s why Val hunts the fangbangers of San Antonio–to keep her demon under control. And she’s not dating vampires like Angel and Spike–she’s dating a cop who hunts the bloodsuckers as part of the city’s Special Crimes Unit. And, oh yeah, her other partner is a part-hellhound dog named Fang who pegs a ten on the snark meter.
Whew. It is different, after all. But, you know, I think all writers are influenced by the stories they love. So, who else do I love? Mostly writers, I think. Early on, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern hooked me on fantasy, as did Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. I also like to curl up with fantasies by Robin Hobb, J.K. Rowling, Lois McMaster Bujold, Guy Gavriel Kay, Anne Bishop to name a few. In addition, urban fantasy has me reading stories by people like Jim Butcher, Wm. Mark Simmons, Tanya Huff, Laura Anne Gilman, Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, C.E. Murphy, P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin Cast, and Patricia Briggs. Plus I’m sure there are others I can’t remember off hand who have filled my life with wonderful stories and characters.
I also love to discover new authors. New to me, anyway. Recently, I came across Brandon Sanderson. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of this guy before, because his stuff is awesome. I’ve only read the first two books of his Mistborn trilogy, so far, but it’s based on a fabulous idea–what if the legendary hero of the prophecies failed and evil triumphs? After two thousand years of subjugation by the immortal Lord Ruler, can a small band of rebels take back their world? Sanderson’s worldbuilding is absolutely fabulous.
I’m not sure how much these wonderful writers have actually influenced what I put on paper since my voice is (I hope) unique to me, but they’ve all given me many long hours of enjoyable reading and inspired me to try to entertain others as much as they’ve entertained me. So, who are your favorites? Hope I become one of them!
Bite Me by Parker Blue, Bell Bridge Books, October 2008.
Eighteen-year-old Valentine Shapiro got a raw deal in the parent lottery. Her father was part incubus demon, and her mother’s never forgiven her for that. Thrown out of the house by her mother, Val does the only thing that seems to make any sense—she takes aim at the town vampires, figuring a stake a day keeps the demon at bay. Soon enough, she finds herself deep in the underbelly of the city, discovering the secrets of the Demon Underground with the help of her faithful hellhound, Fang, and fighting to save those she loves. Whether they love her back or not.
Thank you Parker for stopping by and sharing with us your favorite authors and how they influence you.
Now it’s contest time. Today, we’re giving away a copy of Parker’s novel, Bite Me, and all you have to do to enter is tell us who are you favorite authors. No answer, no entry, so fess up. I normally answer these along with everyone else, but I’m sure if you’ve been around here long enough, you know who I would say. But if you’re new, then just check out my list of recommendations.
As always, if you want more chances to win, you can post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
The contest will run until midnight on Nov. 4th. I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer.