In 1991, when I wrote my first story, my inspirations were drawn from mainly movies. At that time, I watched just about anything that I could, and I had strayed away from books as movies were quicker form of entertainment. After I finished my story and both of my parents had read it and praised it, Daddy actually started pushing books on me again. So at 10 years old, I started reading and the inspiration I gained from it was incredible.
The first books to truly inspire me were Lord of the Flies and The Outsiders. From there, I just started to read and read. During my 7th and 8th grades, the school I was at had an accelerated reader program. This was a blessing and a curse, really. Every month, you had to earn a certain number of points from reading books and taking comprehension tests. You could read heaps of small books or 1 big book. One month, I read Little Women and hated it. It took me 3 weeks to read it and I failed the test, so I had to read something like 4 books in one week to make a passing grade that month. Not ideal.
But it was then that I picked up RL Stine. Despite not loving him greatly, I read a lot of his books during those two years, mostly because I knew I could churn through them fast. I could read one a day, just about. I did read other things, like The Jungle, The Hobbit, and all of The Lord of the Rings series (of which, I have read and had read to me a total of 10 times in my lifetime).
Because of this, RL Stine is a huge influence on my book. He’s made a living telling scary stories to preteens and teens, and that is my goal, as well. Stephen King inspires me, as well, although I fear I could never be as strong a writer as he is.
During this time, as well, I read stupid stuff like The Babysitter’s Club and amazing stuff like The Chronicles of Narnia. CS Lewis continues to inspire me. I remember reading The Screwtape Letters and just being amazed at his ability to write Christian literature without being overly preachy.
After I ended the 8th grade, I stopped reading a lot after that. I still read fantasy novels, but I was a little burnt-out on reading. I always read what was assigned to me for high school, so that made it hard to read something on top of that, as well. What was funny to me in my freshmen and sophomore years, was that I had read a majority of the books assigned when I was 10 and 11. So the struggles some go through reading those kinds of books were not inherently an issue for me.
In 2000, when the Harry Potter fever was really hitting the world by storm, I decided to give them a try. I didn’t generally read children’s books anymore, but the movie trailer had intrigued me. So I bought the first book and finished it in 2 days. I finished the fourth book within a week.
JK Rowling has been an inspiration to many, me being one of them. Granted the book I’m writing had magic in it well before she ever came around, since it’s based loosely on that first story I wrote when I was 10, I’d be a fool to believe that some of the themes within it were not shaped by those books. I’ve prepared myself for comparisons, despite the fact that the similarities are scarce, since mine will dwell more on a horror undertone.
This book is basically urban fantasy with horror elements to it, so it could be considered a cross-over of Rowling and Stine/King. I hope to be closer to Rowling in writing style and closer to King in horror. I can’t say I’m confident that this will be the case.
That being said, I do look forward to the day when I can write high fantasy, but that’s another project for a later date. Probably a few years away.
Last, but not least, I drew a lot of inspiration from a video game series. I have played Final Fantasy since 1987, when my dad came home with a Nintendo Entertainment System and this game, among others. The concept of a class system makes sense to me, in the world of magic. That some people are inherently better at one thing rather than all things. The Final Fantasy series has had multiple iterations, but one of the things about the original game had was that there were black mages, white mages, and later on there were summoners. This became a feature in my original story and has lingered since, but I have made it my own by expanding upon why this is.
So I guess what I’m saying is that movies, Stine, Rowling, King, and Final Fantasy inspired my book. Get your head around that. I sure can’t. It’s a seriously odd combination, and one that could either work really really well or go seriously bad. haha I’d like to think that it just makes me unique! 😉