INSPIRATIONS

– Which author has had the greatest literary influence on Cecilia’s work?

Reply: ‘JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ which I first read at the age of nine, had a huge impact on my life. To this day it remains my favourite story of all time and is one of the reasons I am drawn to writing fantasy.’

– Which other authors have inspired Cecilia’s work?

Reply: Tanith Lee, Nicholas Stuart Gray, George MacDonald, William Shakespeare, Isaac Asimov, Eleanor Farjeon, C.S. Lewis, Arthur C. Clarke, E. Nesbit, Andre Norton, Ann McCaffrey, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Terry Pratchett, George MacDonald, Jane Austen, Ray Bradbury, Susannah Clark, Thomas Hardy, Simon Winchester, Dianna Wynne-Jones, Douglas Adams, Alan Garner, CS Lewis, Andrew Lang, William Allingham, Hilda Lewis, Charles Kingsley, Emily Brontë, Juliet Marillier, William Morris, Ursula LeGuin, Jackie French and more.

– Which artists have inspired Cecilia’s work?

Reply: Brian Froud, Alan Lee, John Howe, Kinuko Y. Craft, Paul Gregory, John Waterhouse, Edward Byrne-Jones and all the other Pre-Raphaelites, Julek Heller, Cicely Mary Barker, Maxfield Parrish, Arthur Rackham, Thomas Canty, Michael Whelan, Linda Bergkvist, Krystal Camprubi, Alphonse Mucha, Anke Katrin Eissman, Dorothy P. Lathrop, Dalmazio Frau, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and others.

– ‘Cecilia, I have just purchased The Ill-Made Mute and am looking forward to reading it. When I opened the book, the quote at the top of the first chapter stopped me dead. I was struck by the similarity of your song to the lines from the Pink Floyd song, “Learning to Fly” – “Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies/Tongue-tied and twisted, an earth-bound misfit, I.” I was wondering if you were inspired by the song.’ From Amy.

Reply: ‘You are absolutely right, Amy. I love the lines from that Pink Floyd song and I was indeed inspired by them. In fact, I find the lyrics of many popular songs inspiring. In the Bitterbynde trilogy, readers inclined to be detectives will find poetry referring to songs by Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and several other classic artists.’

– Are you inspired by Celtic mythology?

Reply: ‘I do use Scottish and Irish folklore in my work, however a large portion of my source material is not Celtic but British. It’s a source that seems to have been somewhat swamped by the popularity of Scandinavian and Celtic folklore in the past few decades. English counties such as Somerset and Cornmwall, and places like the Isle of Man, have their own unique traditions and curious creatures which fascinate me, and which I have explored to the best of my ability.’

– Cecilia, do you have any other sources of inspiration?
Seasons, weather and places. In particular autumn, spring, thunderstorms, frost, rain, the UK, Europe and Eire.

FAVOURITE MOVIES & THEATRICAL SHOWS

The Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn, 1938)
Fantasia (1940)

Blanche (1971)
The first Star Wars trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983)

The Blues Brothers (1980)
The Back to the Future trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990)
Cirque du Soleil (1984 onwards)
Legend (1985)
Ladyhawke (1985)
Labyrinth (1986)
The Storyteller (1987, Jim Henson)
Willow (1988)

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Riverdance (1995 onwards)

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
Spirited Away (2001. And any other movie by Hayao Miyazaki)
Hero (2002)
Sorority Boys (2002)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
Peter Pan (2003)
Underworld (2003)
The House of Flying Daggers (2004)
The Avengers (2012)

I have a definite preference for fantasy, sci-fi and comedy!

FAVOURITE TV SHOWS

Doctor Who
Red Dwarf
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Time Team
The Nanny
Firefly
Black Books

FAVOURITE MUSICIANS

Clannad
Riverdance
Loreena McKennitt
T Jones and R Edelman
Metallica
Apocalyptica
The Bothy Band
Steeleye Span
Fairport Convention
The Dandy Warhols
The Chieftains
Led Zeppelin
Jethro Tull
Nightwish
Battlefield Band
Adele
Franz Ferdinand

FAVOURITE POETS

John Keats
Christina Rossetti
William Shakespeare
Samual Taylor Coleridge
Ethna Carbery
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Percy Bysse Shelley
JRR Tolkien
William Wordsworth
Walter de la Mare
Lord Byron

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Background images of trolls and maidens by John Bauer