Author: McKayla Eaton
Narrator: Becci Martin
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes
Series: The Demon Summoner Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: McKayla Eaton
Released: Jun. 18, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy
On an empty baseball diamond in a quiet Toronto suburb, a demon has been summoned. Seventeen-year-old Alton is miles away, just wishing he had a tutor he didn’t outsmart or outmatch. His prayers are answered when Professor Victor Orvius makes an unexpected visit, offering to teach Alton magic without the restrictions.
The only condition is that he follow Orvius’s rules and not ask too many questions. Alton soon discovers he’s not Orvius’s only student.
Reagan is a competitive young witch with a bad attitude and talent for sarcasm. Their personalities clash, causing trouble for both on more than one occasion, until they realize a greater threat than being one-upped. The demon threatens not only their chances at passing their magic finals — it threatens their lives.
If Alton and Reagan can’t learn to get along, they could be facing their deaths…or an eternity together, trapped in another realm.
Mckayla Eaton is an author and book-lover living and writing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She writes fantasy and science fiction and aims to build worlds that push the imagination of readers. She was raised on Indiana Jones and Fairy Tales and strongly believes every story ought to be an adventure story. She likes tragedies and happily-ever-afters and refuses to believe the two are mutually exclusive.
Becci Martin has been voice acting professionally since the early twenty-teens, but she’s been entertaining smaller audiences of family and friends with her spirited storytelling since she was a little kid. Between projects you can find her traveling with her husband and adventure-loving dogs, boldly puzzling newspaper crosswords in pen, or playing bartender for establishment patrons and houseguests alike. She currently calls Kansas City home.
Author McKayla Eaton’s Literary Inspirations
I used to hate reading as a kid. What really got me into books was Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. It’s a story about a young girl who goes into the world of a book in search of her father. There’s tragedy and humor and magic—and did I mention magic books?
I read a lot of Funke’s books and though they are all in translation (she writes in German) her stories were a huge inspiration for me and pushed me to get into writing. I read her work and said “I want to do this. I want to make stories”.
For a long time I read adult urban fantasy simply because it was one of the first things I picked up and the series are.
I totally skipped YA, so I’ve never read Twilight or The Hunger Games or Harry Potter or anything else book nerds my age grew up on. My tastes changed as I grew up, but it wasn’t until I started reading Brandon Sanderson that I started having that feeling again, that “I want to do THIS” feeling.
I liked his work so much I wanted to see who had inspired him, and it was like I’d opened a door on a whole new world of stories. There was Robert Jordan, David Farland, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Heinlein, Asimov, and the list goes on and on. I went backwards from how most people read these greats, and I think because of that it’s given me a better perspective of how I might one day fit in among them. I’m not simply one author in a million, shoving my books at the world and hoping they find an audience. I know my audience. I’ve read the books they’ve read. I know how those books influence my writing and why they speak to generations of readers.
We often think of the literary tradition as being organic and subconscious. We see it through this mystical lens, as if writers influence each other simply by proximity in the canon. If that were the case I’d sleep with Harold Bloom’s
under my pillow every night. But that’s not how it works. Writer’s aren’t magicians. They imitate, copy, steal, mock—or, as I like to think of it: they learn.
I outline the books I read. After every chapter I record notes. Not about what happened (I’m not trying to one up SparkNotes) but about
it happened. How a writer gives information to a reader is vastly different between authors. How a writer describes action or drops plot hints are the tiny details that separate a good story from a great one, and these things can be learned from reading great authors.
Not everyone does this as intently as I do, but this is how authors learn, how they become better, and it’s why it’s so easy to trace our way back through a literary lineage. I could name the authors who influenced me the most, but I think what’s most important for any writer to recognize is that each genre has it’s very own canon. Whenever I have an idea for a novel I return to whatever canon that story would potentially be contained in and I read, and I take notes, and I find the shelf in that genre where I’d like my book to sit. I do this because I recognize that I can not learn through osmosis. An author should only call someone an influence on their work if they can point to what they learned from them.
My influences and inspirations are constantly changing. I read, I learn, I write, and I begin again. An author should never pin down their inspirations to just a few. To do so would indicate that one has stopped learning, something that should never truly come to an end.
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