You’re My Inspiration | Guest Post by Alycia Christine

Posted on October 7, 2015 «
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book review skinshifter alycia christine

As an author, where do you find inspiration? This single query has been asked of me more than any other. It is a simple question, and yet it is one of the most difficult for me to answer because my work has so many influences ranging from literature to life experience.

I can always say that books inspire me. After all, Lauraisha, one of my major characters in Skinshifter, was partly inspired by the character Menolly from Anne McCaffrey’s book Dragonsong. Likewise my Thorn and Thistle character Ebenezer is a bit of a nod to the crotchety old wizard Carolinus from Gordon R. Dickson’s Dragon and the George series.

Certainly, different forms of media and art are more powerful influences. In fact, my first published short story “Sumari’s Solitude” was originally inspired by a painting entitled “Spirits of Hathor” by Debbie Hughes, which graced the cover of the Ruins Metropolis anthology where “Sumari’s Solitude” first appeared. Similarly, the setting idea for my short story “Paper Castles” came from a springtime photograph of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. when it was awash with pale pink cherry blossoms.

Of course, music is essential to my writing. Hans Zimmer’s piece “Woad to Ruin” from the King Author movie soundtrack essentially represents the first two chapters of Skinshifter condensed into eleven minutes. Harry Gregson-Williams’s piece “Kayla” from the X-men Origins: Wolverine movie soundtrack reminds me of so many emotional aspects of my dryad characters Zahra, Ella, and Zana. I’ve also discovered several of Jeremy Soule’s songs from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Elder Scrolls V: Oblivion which help me punch up my fight scenes.

However, as incredible as literature, art, and media are, people easily outmatch all of them as my primary inspirations. No matter how strange my worlds are or how fantastical their creatures may be, I always write my stories and their characters with some essential aspect of humanity in mind. Of course, it didn’t begin that way.

When I began Skinshifter, I wrote the book with the idea that I would create an action/adventure story set in a fantasy world populated with lots of unusual creatures. However, with the sudden death of my grandmother in 2005, my perception of the book changed. I saw in Katja’s story a tale about losing love and finding hope in the midst of grief. That idea really tugged on my heart and I felt such a tale was the one people most needed to read from me. Consequently, Skinshifter, The Dryad’s Sacrifice, and Thorn & Thistle are all stories dealing with love, loss, and hope in some way. These are fiction themes with roots that stretch deep into my own life. That, to me, is the real beauty of fiction—using a work of make-believe to convey some genuine truth. I would never know such incredible insight without my loved-ones and me cheering each other on through every dream and heartache.

Skinshifter is on sale for a limited time for only 99 cents for Kindle (regularly $3.99). The Dryad’s Sacrifice, a Sylvan Prelude is also only 99 cents for kindle (regularly $2.99). And Thorn and Thistle (Tempest Maiden Book 1) is also on sale for a limited time for only 99 cents for Kindle (regularly $2.99).​

book review skinshifter alycia christine

About the Book


Author: Alycia Christine
Published on: December 24, 2015
Pages: 403
Series: Sylvan Cycle #1
Genres: fantasy, paranormal, adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Visit the Other Tour Stops      Tour sponsored by CBB Book Promotions

My Review

Skinshifter by Alycia Christine fits comfortably in the epic fantasy world. In this first book of the Sylvan Cycle series, Ms. Christine paints a beautiful world inhabited by humans, elves and other mythical creatures like griffins and sphinxes. This world is also haunted by several paranormal undead creatures like vampires and ghouls. It’s a fully fleshed out world with its own religions, cultural norms and prejudices.

There is a lot happening in Skinshifter, but I was most impressed the diversity of the characters and their distinct personalities. The strong females, Katja (werecat), Lauraisha (human) and Zahra (dryad), who are all excellent fighters and philosophers. The respectful males, Felan (werewolf) and Dayalan (not telling!), are not afraid to acknowledge that the women in their party are sometimes stronger fighters and just as wise. Faced with seemingly impossible odds, the pack encounters numerous paranormal creatures like vampires and ghouls that are invading their lands and threatening their lives.

I was a bit overwhelmed by the different terminology and background of the World at the start. I felt a bit like Lauraisha and through her, the reader learns the history and the beliefs of the different species that live on the Sylvan continent. I longed for easier access to the Pronunciation Guide and Glossary and a map of the area.

There is always a new level of learning that takes place when one dives into epic fantasy and sometimes it is overwhelming and frustrating. In the end, beyond the strange cultures and words, the characters pull you through. Their triumphs become your triumphs and their losses, your losses. I certainly felt Katja’s pain and frustration and eventual understanding of the changing world around her. Like all of us, sometimes it just takes a bit of time to understand that our personal differences, that others may despise and fear, are what the world needs, and Skinshifter is certainly a book that can help the reader on that journey of self discovery.


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About Alycia Christine

Alycia Christine headshot

Alycia Christine grew up near the dusty cotton fields of Lubbock, Texas. She fell in love with fantasy and science fiction stories when her father first read Gordon R. Dickson’s THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE and Robert A. Heinlein’s HAVE SPACESUIT—WILL TRAVEL to her at age ten. Her love-affair with fiction deepened when Alycia took a creative writing course while attending Texas A&M University. After that class, she was hooked as a writer for life. Her subsequent B.S. degree in agricultural journalism not only helped to hone Alycia’s skills with a pen, but also with a camera. Today she uses her skills as a photographer to capture the beauty of the world around her and add additional perspective to her fiction and nonfiction writing.


book review skinshifter alycia christine





book review skinshifter alycia christine

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3 responses to “You’re My Inspiration | Guest Post by Alycia Christine

  1. Yes, I love that last paragraph and particularly last bit of it (in the guest post). I think that’s what helps really bring us that connection to the story, where we can really FEEL what they feel.
    Excellent post! Thank you so much for hosting to the tour!