I’m so pleased to have debut author Lucy Hounsom, a dear friend of mine, on the blog for Bookish Firsts! I’ve been so excited to read her book, Starborn, as she cites David Eddings as one of her influences. Also, what’s not to love about sun and moon magic (total Katara and Zuko vibes here)? Are you as excited about this book as I am?
With author Lucy Hounsom
What is the first book you ever read/remember reading?
A picture book called The Patchwork Cat by Nicola Bayley & William Mayne. It’s a story about a tabby cat who loves her old patchwork blanket so very much that she follows it all the way to the dump when the family throw it out. According to my parents, I could recite the whole book, the most memorable line of which is ‘Someone’s done some snatchwork on my patchwork’.
What is the first book your wrote (can be published or unpublished)?
The first full length book I wrote was called The Phial of Exirior. It’s 126,000 words long and full of elves, dwarves, sorcerers, dark lords – everything a 15 year old thought was super cool. About 8 years after finishing it, I went back and tried to turn it into something publishable, but ultimately failed. Was it the elves? Maybe. Was it all the thees and thous and doths ? Most likely. But it’s still here on my hard drive, biding its time, waiting for the veils between worlds to thin so it might have a second chance at life…
What is the first book character you loved?
By ‘first’, I’m taking you at your word and saying Tarquin the Terrible from The Dragon Wore Pink by Christopher Hope. It’s a story about a dragon and a human teaming up to bring a bit of enlightenment to their respective communities. Tarquin is not only ostracised for his un-dragonish behaviour and choice of attire, but also because he befriends a human, a little girl who looks suspiciously Jewish. I don’t doubt that the anti-Semitism, homophobia and extreme conservatism that this picture book warns against went over my head, but even without those layers, it’s a great story. Tarquin regains the ability to fly and breathe fire which the dragons have lost and ultimately ensures (in his inclusivity) the future of his race. He and Ellie (she having conquered her own people’s intolerance) live happily ever after. On reflection, my obsession with fantasy and dragons appears to go back a long way.
Death and destruction will bar her way…
Kyndra’s fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age – powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.
Together, they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man’s terrifying response. She’ll learn more in the city’s subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.
If she survives the ordeal, she’ll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?
Starborn is a tale of heroism and lost powers, where one person’s choices will shape the fate of thousands. This is for readers who love Trudi Canavan, David Eddings and Karen Miller.
About Lucy Hounsom
Lucy Hounsom works for Waterstones and has a BA in English & Creative Writing from Royal Holloway. She went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing under Andrew Motion in 2010. Lucy lives in Devon.
Follow Lucy on Twitter @silvanhistorian