About the Book:
Skinshifters are a curse. The Asheken deadwalkers proved that fact when they used skinshifters to spy against the Sylvan races during the Second War of Ages. Now, after three centuries of peace, the deadwalkers have found a secret way back onto the Sylvan Continent and this time they seek not just to conquer their enemies, but to enslave them body and soul.
When the Feliconas Clan suffers the deadwalkers’ first raid, one werecat—a skinshifter who has concealed her abilities—survives the massacre. Even as Katja struggles with her grief and guilt over her murdered kin, she must unite with other Sylvan refugees to defeat the deadwalkers before they can butcher and defile the other races. But can this skinshifter trust her newfound allies or will their secrets prove even more treacherous than her own?
We are thrilled to host Alycia Christine on the blog today, read all about how she tackles the empty page below!
Guest Post – Influences and Inspirations
I stare at the blank document page on my computer screen. It’s just sitting there taunting me like the bullies whose smirks I knew all too well in school and whose taunts I still remember after all these years.
“You stupid girl, you can’t even read! How can you hope to write?”
I’ve defeated this white demon—this empty page—thousands of times before, but each new encounter always feels just as daunting as it did the last time we met. In the back of my brain, I hear the whispers of “What if?” begin to yammer. What if my writing turns out horrible? What if others hate it? What if I fail?
The question of “What if?” is one of my greatest writing inspirations, but it is also one of my worst adversaries. And, right now, it has hold of me by the throat.
I grit my teeth in a snarl of defiance and start typing—using my words to obliterate the emptiness and the doubt that always comes with it. I can write. I will write. And fear of failure will not stop me.
Writing has been difficult for me for as long as I can remember. That is a fact that never changes—no matter how many times I pick up a pen or type on a keyboard. In some ways, my struggle has become easier. Through persistent training, I’ve learned the correct way to spell most words. I’ve even learned how to use proper grammar and punctuation. Most of the time. Yet these milestones bear with them a great weight: knowledge. Now that I understand how to write, I need to use what I know to enthrall and inspire others besides myself. That is a huge challenge.
Another “What if?” pops into my head. What if I’m not up to that challenge?
I stand up from my desk and walk over to the shelf where some of my favorite fiction books are kept. I pick up a copy of Gordon R. Dickson’s The Dragon and the George and hold it in my hands a moment. Smiling, I remember Dad reading it to me for the first time as a child. The Dragon and the George was that priceless first book that opened my mind to the joys of reading.
I pick up the hardback that sits on the shelf next to The Dragon and the George. It’s a copy of Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. It isn’t the original book I owned as a teenager because that one was lost in a fire. Instead this is a replacement copy given to me by a friend, which makes it even more special. I turn to the bookmark forever holding my place on page 56 and read the scene that first inspired me to actually write fiction.
With reverence, I set the books on the desk beside me and turn back to my keyboard. I have a good five pages to write today and I’ll need the encouragement embodied in this pair of books now sitting beside me to help get me through my work.
As I type, a final “What if?” surfaces in my mind. What if I can inspire someone else just as these two authors continue to inspire me?
It’s only when I return to such thoughts of hope that I notice the white demon’s steady retreat from my marching fingertips. Perhaps I can write after all.
About the Author:
Alycia Christine grew up near the dusty cotton fields of Lubbock, Texas. She fell in love with fantasy and science fiction stories when her father first read Gordon R. Dickson’s THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE and Robert A. Heinlein’s HAVE SPACESUIT—WILL TRAVEL to her at age ten. Her love-affair with fiction deepened when Alycia took a creative writing course while attending Texas A&M University. After that class, she was hooked as a writer for life. Her subsequent B.S. degree in agricultural journalism not only helped to hone Alycia’s skills with a pen, but also with a camera. Today she uses her skills as a photographer to capture the beauty of the world around her and add additional perspective to her fiction and nonfiction writing. Find her at http://www.alyciachristine.com.