Sunday, July 17, 2011
On my website, I've collected a list of books about shapeshifters - http://www.leahcypess.com/shapeshifter/. But the book that probably most influenced Mistwood is not on that list, because it's not technically a shapeshifter book. It's The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, about a unicorn who sets out on a quest to find out what happened to the rest of her kind. I'm not going to say more, because explaining how this book influenced Mistwood would be a bit of a spoiler for The Last Unicorn, and I think everyone should read it - it's a thoroughly original story that reads like the best type of fairy-tale. (Full disclosure: I was introduced to this book through the movie version, which is also awesome.)
My second book, Nightspell, is about ghosts -- this time, a trope I find more frightening than fascinating. Back when I read the classic ghost book Wait Till Helen Comes, I couldn't even fall asleep until I had gotten the book physically out of my bedroom. But I'm also a fan of mysteries, and the idea of ghosts trying to solve their own murders - not a new idea, certainly! - has an intrinsic appeal to me. My attempt to write in that genre turned into a high fantasy about a
kingdom where ghosts coexist uneasily with the living, but it has its roots in a combination of all the murder mysteries and ghost stories I read when I was younger.
What's next? Well, my secret goal is to play with every fantasy trope in existence, so hopefully there are a lot more mythological creatures in my writing future!
Leah Cypess is the author of Mistwood and the upcoming novel, Nightspell. Visit her HERE!