*Night Shade Books was kind enough to provided one (1) free copy of The Song of All to go along with the interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview 🙂
Today I am interviewing Tina LeCount Myers, author of the new fantasy novel, The Song of All, first book in The Legacy of the Heavens trilogy.
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DJ: Hi Tina! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Tina LeCount Myers: Hi! Thanks for having me. I describe myself as a writer, surfer, and gluestick artist. I’m also a lapsed academician and a Siamese cat servant. I have an MA in European History from UC Santa Cruz and currently live in San Francisco. When I am not at my desk at The Castro Writers’ Cooperative, you can find me catching waves, practicing my backhand, and tearing up magazines for my collage art. The Song of All is my debut novel.
DJ: What is The Song of All about?
Tina: It is about two ancient warring tribes and a flawed man who is trying to save his son. It also includes parallel worlds accessed by song and poetry, psionics, sequential hermaphroditism, reindeer, and epic sword fights.
DJ: What were some of your influences The Song of All and the series?
Tina: I grew up in a family that emphasized reading literary classics. Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina definitely had an impact on me and my writing. I loved the sweeping scope of their storytelling and the large cast of characters. But both works also have a tight focus on the nobility and pathos of an individual. The other significant influence on The Song of All were the fairytales my grandparents told me when I lived in Finland. They were stories about spirits in the north, about bears who turned into men, and sorceresses who lured lost hunters.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Tina: So, I have quite a few characters in the story with whom readers may or may not sympathize. I think that with any character a writer is looking at what they want and usually those are very human wants and needs: love, power, safety, acknowledgment, understanding, and belonging. Irjan is a man who led a life of violence but has turned his back on it, wanting to lead a quiet life as a farmer, husband, and father. But his past is not so easily forgotten, and he’s drawn back into violence. Gunna is one of my favorite characters (am I allowed to say that?). She is a fierce old lady who despite her ability to take care of herself, misses having a family around her. She reminds me of my Finnish maternal line. Tough and proud but with just a little bit of sadness in the later years. Okta is a healer of the Jápmemeahttun tribe. He has a strong moral code that guides him to make tough decisions. He wants to do what is right, but sometimes his way of going about it is a little manipulative.
DJ: What is the world and setting of The Legacy of the Heavens trilogy like?
Tina: The first two books are set in Davvieana, a secondary world inspired by the arctic and subarctic region of Samiland (Sápmi) of northern Scandinavia and Russia. In my story, this area is peopled by two tribes, the indigenous Jápmemeahttun and the immigrant Olmmoš. The technology is roughly between the Iron Age and the Viking period and largely agrarian. The two tribes are pantheistic and share the same gods. They, however, have different lifecycles and very different relationships to their natural world. The third book will include additional geography and groups of people, but that is still evolving.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Song of All?
Tina: I really enjoyed writing the sword fights and the battle scenes. There are so many elements in motion. It is a challenge to keep them all going and maintain clarity while getting into literally the blood and guts of the characters. I feel very fortunate to have a husband who is a Medieval Military Historian. We’ve had some epic discussions about weaponry and tactics. Still, I am in awe of authors like Bernard Cornwell. His battle scenes in the Saxon stories of The Last Kingdom series are tremendous.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Tina: What I have heard from readers so far is, “You’re working on the next book, right?” That makes me think people are connecting with the characters and want to know what will happen next. And I am working on the next book, Dreams of the Dark Sky, which will be out hopefully February 2019. A lot of what I’ve heard would be spoilers, but I hope some readers will be talking about how awesome Gunna is.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began The Legacy of the Heavens trilogy? The Song of All is only the first book, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Tina: There are themes running through all three books that arose both consciously and unconsciously. I started writing the story wanting to look at the relationship between parent and child, particularly the sacrifice that love can inspire. So that theme operates on the personal level. On a larger level, the topic of migration and diaspora was in the forefront of my mind as I was writing. The struggle between the newcomers, the Olmmoš, and the native group, the Jápmemeahttun, revolves around issues of assimilation of an immigrant community. Finally, the question of belonging arose naturally based on not only my characters’ story arcs, but also on my unconscious need to figure out where I belong.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Song of All that you can share with us?
Tina: I like when Aillun’s character, who is Jápmemeahttun, says of the Olmmoš, “Aillun was surprised she could understand them. They had a thick, round accent, as if they had a mouthful of berries and feared losing one.”
And I like when Kalek, who is Jápmemeahttun, says to Irjan, “We are not so different. I too honor what is close to my heart. As you have said, you could easily kill me, and yet I am willing to close my eyes and trust I will wake. If I can do that for you, can you not do that for me?”
I think that both quotes are about recognizing not only the differences between individuals and groups but also the similarities.
DJ: Now that The Song of All is released, what is next for you?
Tina: I am finishing up editing book two, Dreams of the Dark Sky, and hopefully writing a novella related to The Song of All before working on book three, The Northern Ones. I’m also outlining a possible prequel to the series. I have visions of a new quartet, but that is still a ways off.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Song of All and The Legacy of the Heavens trilogy that we haven’t talked about yet?
Tina: I wanted to give a shout out to the fabulous cover artists for The Song of All (and hopefully the whole series). Jeff Chapman and Shawn King are both incredibly talented. I think they captured the scope of the story.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Tina: Thank you for having me!
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*** The Song of All is published by Night Shade Books and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Kobo
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Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter to win a copy of The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers! Good luck! 🙂
Runs through April 20, 2018 (04/20/20)
*US Residents ONLY
*** RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!! ***
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The first book in a gritty debut epic fantasy series inspired by Scandinavian indigenous cultures.
The Song of All follows Irjan, a ruthless and lethal human warrior, and a legend among the Brethren of Hunters, who make war with immortals in the name of their shared gods. But even legends grow tired and disillusioned, and when Irjan turns his back on his oath and his calling to hide away and live a peaceful life as a farmer, husband, and father, he finds that his past is not so easily left behind.
Now, forced back into action against the immortals with his son’s life hanging in the balance, Irjan will have to utilize every ounce of the intelligence and ferocity that made him a mythical figure among his fellow mortals.
About the Author:
Tina LeCount Myers is a writer, artist, independent historian, and surfer. Born in Mexico to expat-bohemian parents, she grew up on Southern California tennis courts with a prophecy hanging over her head; her parents hoped she’d one day be an author. The Song of All is her debut novel.