Synopsis of ‘Avira’, the second book in the series:
The fearless Avira is accustomed to wielding a sword alongside her father and brothers to defend their home. Injured and abandoned, she is taken by a stranger to a place where she embarks on a happy new life learning woodcraft and herblore. But her old life draws her back to the dangerous outside world when she has to rescue her family. Although her new magical powers are put to good use, she still finds help – and more – from an unexpected source.
We asked Corinne what was the inspiration for her Phoon series and this was her answer:
I always loved woods. Particularly the huge old ones that have stood there for centuries and you wonder what they have seen pass by over the course of their lives. I was walking in the woods just the other day and it started to rain. The rain couldn’t get through the canopy, but I could hear the noise. It took me a while to work out what that pitter-patter was! I felt like they were protecting me, just like the Black Woods do for the girls in my books. Then, when there is strong wind blowing, the noise roaring through the tops of the trees is thrilling and scary, particularly at night time. This is the time when you can feel their power.
Have you ever been travelling along a road and you catch a glimpse of a mysterious house through the trees? I became somewhat obsessed with one near me, which I used to drive past every day. I started to imagine who lived in there, and what they did, and how the house might look on the inside. This one had very strange metal gates at the end of its drive at the roadside – oh, how I wanted to slip through them and make my way up to the house! I even concocted a story about what I would say I was doing there if I was caught. But I could never pluck up the courage.
So now you can see here the main elements of the Phoon series: the Black Woods, which host the secret power of the Phoon, and then the house, Domina, which has a magic of its own. I grew up in a house that although sadly not magic, was inhabited predominantly by women. It was my grandmother’s house, and she lived there with her sister. Then my mother and her brood (including me at the age of 8) moved back to live there when my father died. So once my brother (the oldest of us children) moved out, we had a house of five women over three generations – my grandmother, my great-aunt, my mother, my sister and me. We were not Unloved, like the group of women and girls in the books, but the house was in the country and rarely received visitors. With no menfolk around the house, we dealt with most things on our own. Not to say that I was deterred from travelling into the nearest town to go to the local dances at the weekend, after which I often missed the last bus and had to walk home late with only the trees for company. Again, I can see that a version of this has found its way into the story…
I hope I have enticed you to want to read more. There are two books in the series so far, ‘Secret of the Phoon’ and the recently published prequel ‘Avira’ – though you don’t need to have read the first before you read the second. I’m currently writing the third one – ‘Shastia’.
About the Author:
Corinne Foster, author of the Phoon series of books, lives in the UK with her husband, dog and a view from her window of one of the most beautiful, huge old trees she has ever seen. If she ever gets stuck, she just gazes at it for a bit, puts on some music and gets tapping away on the keyboard again.