Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth asked Hannah Allen Abbott:

You have 3 varied influences listed. Can you say little about how each influenced you?

Hannah Allen Abbott The three you refer to are Patricia McKillip, Andrew Clements, and Ellis Peters.

I have loved McKillip's ethereal, lyrical prose ever since I first read "The Throme of the Erril of Sherill" in 1979. Reading McKillip influenced me to pay more attention to the music of my words. Her success as an author gave me hope that some people out there still appreciate beautiful writing and are not afraid of words they might not have encountered before. McKillip's dreamlike storytelling also gave me the sense that sometimes letting the reader wonder what the heck is going on can be the very hook that keeps them reading.

I consider Clements my mentor in writing from multiple points of view. His stories are told primarily from the POV of the central character, but they're sprinkled with in-depth views into the psyches of parents, teachers, and friends. I don't do this in all of my books, of course. "The Black Stag" and "The Pearl Singer" are both first person, but "The Sword and the Tear" is told from multiple points of view. A lot of past history is presented in "Tear," and where dialog would have been unwieldy, I presented it through the memories of various characters. I wanted to tell only what the characters themselves would know (or believe) and weave that together.

Peters is a model for me of presenting a down-to-earth medieval world. I confess (how appropriate) that I'm still working on that ideal. Not the murder aspect, of course, but the feeling of real life and real people. I try to paint a real world yet not go overboard with detail.

These are three very different aspects of writing that I still work at. I will have to depend on my readers to let me know how I'm doing. :-)

Note: I have confirmed with this reader that these are the influences she intended. HAA

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