Heroes: R.A. MacAvoy

TeaWithTheBlackDragonWriting heroes attain that status in my very subjective opinion for various reasons. Sometimes it’s for a body of work, but just as often it is for a very specific work, a work that shows you something you didn’t understand before, or even shows you something you didn’t know existed before. Last time I talked about Andre Norton’s influence in general, but specifically about Perilous Dreams and how its tone and approach informed A Warrior of Dreams. I use the term “informed” rather than simply “influenced,” to make a subtle but very real distinction. Lots of things influence a writer from time to time and day to day. I’ve read books—or in some cases attempted to read books—as I’m sure you have as well, whose main effect was to make you swear to never, ever publish anything that lame with your name on it. So in that sense they were important influences. No, “inform” is another level altogether. While anyone who reads both would know one is not a pastiche of the other, I have no trouble admitting that AWOD would have been a very different book, indeed may never have been written in the first place, if I hadn’t read Perilous Dreams first.

The very same dynamic exists between R(Roberta). A(Ann). MacAvoy’s classic Tea With the Black Dragon and what is one of my favorites of my own books, All the Gates of Hell. Continue reading