We all know the werewolves and the vampires and all the fairy tale-fantasy of the Western world; those of us who are fans of Teen Wolf or writers like Kii Johnson know the kitsune; few, if any, of us are familiar with lesser-known Eastern myths, like the Japanese myth of the dream-eating baku. That's why K. Bird Lincoln, whose life has been greatly impacted by Japanese language, food and culture thanks in part to her Japanese studies major, Japanese husband and six years living there, decided to tackle these under-the-radar mythical beings in her new book, Dream Eater.
And that's why I, today, have the pleasure of hosting my second World Weaver Press cover reveal!
Dream Eater is the beginning of a new urban fantasy series by Lincoln, one where a half-Japanese girl in Portland discovers her own mythical parentage.
Sound intriguing? I thought so, too! The book releases on April 4, 2017 and paperbacks can be pre-ordered here.
You ready for the cover? *Drumroll please...*
Cool, right? I'm stoked to read this book.
Now, I also had the opportunity to ask Lincoln a few questions about herself and the book, which was super exciting. She told me that writing this book was the first time she got to experience the non-glamorous side of writing — the endless revising which sometimes borders on nitpicking. But it also gave her the opportunity to research a lot of cool things, from the mythology of Armenia to Japanese mythology.
Like I said, Lincoln married a Japanese man and actually lived in the country for six and a half years, so it's a place and a culture she truly loves. She went ahead and recommended a great historical fantasy if you're also interested in Japan: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell, which is "impeccably researched" and about a fascinating time in Japanese history.
Lincoln grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where she learned Spanish and spent ample time in libraries, owing to her dad's job as a community college librarian.
"I remember sitting behind the reference desk and 'helping' by stamping students’ books at check out and getting lost in between rows of bookshelves," she said. "Kind of your average, dream-writer childhood."
In addition, she is the mother of two "creative, artsy, nerdy teenagers," she said.
As for writing, well, she's been doing that forever. Like many writers, she remembers the first story she wrote — it's about a pony named Brownie in a magical forest. She said it's "totally derivative and clichéd," but what else does a second grader know other than cliches?
"There was never a time that I did not write," Lincoln said. "I more or less have stories or songs running in my mind all the time. It just was natural to try to put them on paper."
Lincoln's good friend, Sarah Lichty, who confessed to being bored easily while reading, said Lincoln, "strikes the right balance of developing full characters with thoughtful insight into their perceptions and motivations, while at the same time keeping my attention with exciting and well developed action sequences."
As a person, Lincoln is thoughtful and attentive to others, Lichty said. "She is genuinely accepting and interested in the very real and diverse stories that surround her in daily life. Her particular fondness for the ridiculous can put anyone at ease," she added.
Lincoln is also the author of another Japanese fantasy series, a gender-bending duology called Tiger Lily. She encourages everyone to drink lavender lattes, and hints that you can get a free short story if you get her newsletter, which you can sign up for here. Be sure to also follow her on Facebook and don't forget to get Dream Eater on or before April 4, 2017!