Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your debut novel, The Song of All, through Skyhorse/Nightshade Books! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Tina LeCount Myers: Thank you so much, Barbra. The Song of All is the first book in The Legacy of the Heavens Trilogy. It is a Scandinavian-inspired epic fantasy set in the Arctic tundra about two ancient, warring tribes and a flawed man caught in between who is trying to save his son. The premise of the book was influenced by the stories my Finnish grandparents told me as a child when I lived with them and by a debate I had with my husband about what distinguishes Science Fiction from Fantasy. Basically, The Song of All started as a challenge to write a fantasy that had a foundation in science.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing the book, and what have been some of your creative influences?
TLM: I started writing The Song of All as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), where would-be novelists push themselves to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I loved immersing myself for an entire month in my imagination. I’m hooked on that model. I write intensively for a month to reach a goal, and then I take a month off and do other projects like editing or art. I feel a little guilty about not being a person who writes every day, but this system allows me to explore new and different creative processes and to read. The Song of All has its roots, both unconsciously and consciously, in books like Victor Hugo’s Les Miserablés and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, in the Sami indigenous cultures of Scandinavia, in mysticism and meditation, and in evolutionary biology.
BD: As a first-time novelist, what has been your experience in preparing for the release of The Song of All and its critical and fan response?
TLM: The experience of being a debut author has been overwhelming on many levels. Launching a book requires dividing one’s focus between the creative and business aspects of publishing while discovering how to be a public persona. I have had some outstanding opportunities to attend book signings and conferences and to meet both fans and other authors that I admire. The critical and fan response to the book has been predominantly positive. I love it when readers send me notes saying they can’t wait for the second book.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
TLM: Ideally, I want readers to walk away from my book feeling as if they have experienced another world and have connected to one or more of the characters. A sense of connection is really at the heart of why I wrote The Song of All.
BD: What makes Skyhorse/Nightshade Books the perfect home for The Song of All?
TLM: Editors Jeremy Lassen and Cory Allyn of Skyhorse/Nightshade Books saw the scope of my story and were excited to bring it to life. They had a strong vision of how to present the unique qualities of the book within the context of the broader fantasy genre. They also brought together artists Jeff Chapman and Shawn King who realized that vision for the cover art. Every time I see the cover, I am reminded of the incredible team I am part of.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
TLM: I am currently on deadline for book two in the series, Dreams of the Dark Sky. It is due to my editors early May with a projected February 2019 release. After that, I will be working on book three, The Northern Ones, and potentially a prequel to The Song of All.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Song of All?
TLM: Readers can find more information on The Song of All at my publisher’s website, www.nightshadebooks.com, where they have shared one of the chapters. The book is available in all formats. Distributors include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s Books, and independent booksellers (indiebound.org). Also, readers can find me at my website, www.tinalecountmyers.com, and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@tlecountmyers).