Things That Inspired Born of Air, Book 1 of The Valdir Chronicles

There are so many things that inspired this series. First and foremost of which was my childhood love of dragons. It all started when I was young. I read Jane Yolen’s Dragon’s Blood series and fell in love with dragons.

If you haven’t read these, do. So good!

Then when I was a bit older, Christopher Paolini came out with his Inheritance series and I fell in love with Eragon and Sapphira. I loved how rich and varied his world was. He did fantastic as blending dragons, elves, dwarves, magic, and humans together. You can tell he drew inspiration from Lord of the Rings. I was also fascinated that he began writing these as a teenager, which I was at the time. And I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

Seriously. Such an epic series.

And then of course there is A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. I would imagine many people might think I’m using him heavily for inspiration but they would surprisingly be wrong. I wanted a character who stood out, was different than the average person. Silver hair just seemed like a no-brainer. It set the Valdir apart and gave them a sense of mystique. Surprisingly, I drew more inspiration from the vikings than Martin’s work.

This is kind of how I envision Kalina later on in the series.

This was the first online photo that made me think of Kalina. The blue eyes and silver hair match perfectly.
How I imagine Eira to look but dressed in Valdir leathers and with blue eyes.
Lagertha’s outfit is similar to that of the Valdir. The leather both protects them and keeps their clothing close to their body while flying on their dragons.
Lagertha from Vikings is a huge influence for Kalina as well, although Kalina is much younger.

I drew inspiration from viking culture and Native American culture. I love the battle braids, the tattoos, the war paint, the nomadic lifestyle, the connection to nature. I wanted a culture for the Valdir that represented those parts of these cultures that I admired. So the Valdir are silver haired, wear battle braids, and are warriors. They ride dragons and fight in battles, but they also farm and live in inhospitable places. They were living in Ethea long before there was a kingdom, and after the long war they were forced to flee from their lands in order to keep their people safe. And now they are actively hunted.

The Wastes was inspired by the high desert.
Inspiration for the Great Grey Mountains
High mountain valleys
High deserts of the Wastes

The mountains are surrounded by typical pine forests, the terrain much like that of Oregon. High deserts, pine forests, and craggy mountains. This is what Ethea is made of.

This reminds me of Savath- except this is actually a dragon (note the arms). But Savath is a wyvern in a deep forest.
Dragons! This is similar to how I envision the Valdir’s dragons. They come in all colors and are about the size of a house.

My family and friends make fun of me for getting passionate about the difference between wyverns and dragons. So make sure you know the difference 😉

See? Very different! (but my wyverns also speak)

I really hope you all enjoy Born of Air. Seriously. Let me know what you think when it comes out next month.

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