Awww, Susan Cooper. I love thee, let me count the ways. When us Merry Sisters were deciding on an author to start our author discussions with, I think Susan Cooper was one of the first out of my mouth. She had an enormous influence on me, for a bunch of reasons.
1) The scope of the novels. This was the existence of mankind, people, good and evil, crazy crap of all sorts . . . in the hands of a bunch of kids who all acted like a lot of . . . kids. Plus, a very coherent, tight plot carried over five novels. That’s impressive to me and something I’d like to do.
2) Dude, when she said something bad was going to happen, I soooo believed her. Because in her valleys ringed with stark mountains and little cottages inhabited by sheep herders and railway trains that evoke both old and new . . . she built atmosphere and foreboding like nobody’s business.
3) Bittersweet. Even though the battles were between Good and Evil, we never really had one without the other. And we also learned that people who seemed good because they made things like muffins for the protagonists could really be Tools of the Bad Guys.
4) I really loved that sheep dog. The one that got killed. You know the one I mean. And Bran, oh, I love you, man. Love you. Emo/ angst/ great backstory boy, I heart thee.
Susan, you made me want to write, back when I was a small ankle biter. Thanks for that. And thanks for many shivery nights.