by G. A. Morgan
Asking an author to choose her top five influences is a little like asking her to pick the caramels out of a box of assorted chocolates; but in the case of the Five Stones Trilogy, and The Kinfolk, in particular, a few certainly stand out. There is one influence I have to mention that is not literary, but which was formative for me. The trilogy would not have been written if I had not spent so much of my childhood on Mount Desert Island. This trilogy is—on one level—an ode to her mossy ledges and fog-laden shore. But how to pick among the others? Here are five to begin with:
The Tide Trilogy by Elisabeth Ogilvie. I read this trilogy when I was stuck in a motel in Florida for two hot, insufferable, flying roach-infested weeks. I devoured these books like a starved wolf at a picnic. They helped me understand where my daylights were calling me, and the seeds of my own trilogy set in Maine and the North Atlantic were planted.
His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman: Another trilogy, this one of vast and incalculable influence on my imagination. Pullman’s deft weaving of religion, mythology, coming-of-age story, and many characters, set in several completely believable worlds has been a standard-bearer for me.
The Oz series, by L. Frank Baum. And I’m not just talking the most famous Oz book, but all fourteen written by the wizard behind the curtain. In The Wonderful World of Oz (#1), the characters have lost something vital to them (home, heart, courage, brain). In the end, they find that the power they were seeking already—and always—resided in them. If you read my trilogy, you will see that this theme is pervasive.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read this book in college and fell in love with magical realism. In my trilogy, there are supernatural powers at work that my characters do not understand but feel on an intuitive level, even though they consider themselves quite ordinary. Of course, no one is really ordinary. We all have access to magic, and this list is evidence to that fact.
The Ranger’s Apprentice Series, by John Flanagan. As the world of Ayda and my characters began to grow in my imagination, I read the first couple of books in this series to my two sons. At some point, I decided to try and captivate my boys as fully with my own writing, though it’s not clear if I’ve succeeded. Flanagan’s books were the nudge I needed to make it real. They are considered classics in my house.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
G.A. Morgan is the author of the adventure fantasy Five Stones Trilogy for upper Middle Grade readers. The #5stonesbooks series follows the journey of five children who, in the first book, The Fog of Forgetting, are lost in the fog off of Maine only to find themselves in the mysterious and forgotten land of Ayda. In Book Two, Chantarelle, Chase, determined to fulfill his promise to find the unifying Fifth Stone, finds the elusive Captain Nate and brings him back to the island of Ayda, where one realm is burning and two others are under siege from Dankar’s dark forces of Exor. In the dramatic conclusion of The Five Stones Trilogy, The Kinfolk, Chase, Evelyn, and Knox must gather together disparate forces to save not just Ayda but their own world as well.
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