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