Friday, April 06, 2007


First of all I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by to check out the US cover. From the comments I have been receiving, it looks like the cover really gets across my story extremely well. Which is really a huge testament to John Rocco's ability as an artist (can you tell I am in utter awe of the man?) Now I only have to hope the inside lives up to the outside!

Okay onto today's post. Today I wanted to write a bit about my writing influences, and then sort of open it up to discussion. I always love hearing about who inspired people to write, and sometimes it can come from the strangest places.

(The reason that I thought I would talk a bit about this was because I was filling in an author questionnaire for my Canadian publishers, and had to answer that question. I am nothing if not derivative.)

This is what I wrote - ehem:

As far as writing influences go, I would have to cite a few authors. Obviously the authors of the classic kid books, AA Milne, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll, JM Barrie etc were very important to me. It is pretty evident that my novel owes a lot to Alice in Wonderland, not only in story structure, but also in the way that Lewis Carroll satirized the politics of the time through his characters. I too satirize my life: my obsession with the Lord of the Rings movies behind the scenes documentaries, my temp jobs and having to virtually read the minds of my bosses, my love of classic films and plays and their actors . . .

A Series of Unfortunate Events inspired me to write in Magical Realism.

The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton, though woefully politically incorrect, was a huge favourite of mine growing up and I think really inspired that whole adventure story concept.

And of course the classic nautical films (since I love my movies) of the classic nautical books, Mutiny on the Bounty, and the mini series of the Horatio Hornblower series inspired all the sea faring stuff (along with that classic: Muppet Treasure Island).

But of all the authors out there the one who influenced me the most would have to be Douglas Adams. You see my dad would always read to me before bed, and because he was an English teacher he read me all the classics. Then one night he started reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and it was unlike anything I had ever come across before. It was wacky and different, and played with the rules. Adams saw things from a completely different perspective, and wrote in a very straightforward manner as if everything he was telling us was perfectly normal. I loved the books. And that moment of revelation, of playing with writing as opposed to 'just' writing stayed with me ever since. I would love to be the Douglas Adams for kids. That is of course, reaching way up high above me. But I figure there is no harm in trying.

So there you have it! Now it is your turn. Who and what influences you in your writing, your work in general?

And . . . go!


Linda D. said...

Who inspired me to write in the first place? My eighth grade teacher. I didn't even like her, but she loved a story I wrote enough to pass it around to all the classes in the school to be read aloud. That was the day I figured I could maybe write.

But in terms of being inspired while I write, I can't pinpoint any one or two authors. I'm inspired by each 'last book' I read. If it isn't a very good book, I'm inspired to strive for more. If that author did it, then so can I.

But watch out. If it's an amazing book, I think, wow I'll never be that good, but something in my brain snaps and I find myself wanting to write more. I push myself to be better - not to be like them, or write like them, but to be my best and to someday write so well that some other writer out there will say, "wow, I want to be just like her." Or something like that. I have a long way to go, but it's so much fun trying. :)

Authors who've inspired me lately - Cynthia Lord, John Green.

J M McDermott said...

eating is a tough addiction to break, you know.

also, when it rains, i enjoy the roof over my head.

but, my biggest influence - and i write adult, literary anti-epic fantasies and magical realism and poetry - is children's author lloyd alexander.

also, dr seuss was the single greatest american poet of the last century.

Heidi the Hick said...

When I was a kid, I only read horse books. There were very few exceptions. Maybe Pippi Longstocking...otherwise I devoured stories about horses.

Now I can't seem to write a horse story for kids, even though I really want to! It's there, I'm sure, and just waiting to come out.

Otherwise, I'd have to say that Sci-fi and fantasy really grabbed me in my teens. Douglas Adams (Genius!) and the classics- Brave New World, A Canticle For Liebowitz. Then I discovered Guy Gavriel Kay!! And Tolkien of course although honestly it took me over a decade to get through it.

I don't write sci-fi or fantasy either though. I'd like to hope that I read books that are well written and that optimistically it's soaking into me by osmosis!!!

For the last couple of years I've been reading a ton of Middle grade. My kids are that age, and ever since this character popped into my head I've been soaking up the genre that she belongs in.

Your book cover is gorgeous. I'll have to pick up a copy!!!

Therese said...

The book that most made me want to be a writer was Gone With The Wind, which I read as a teen.

The authors whose work inspires me more recently--Ann Patchett, David Guterson, Anna Quindlen, Anita Shreve...

But I did and do read so widely that I have to say almost everything I read has some influence. Movies do as well. (I LOVE Muppet Treasure Island, btw!)

Part of my writing strategy has been to find a niche where there was room to stand out. Sounds like you've done the same! I'm very eager to see your novel even if I am a little older than the target market. :)

adrienne said...

linda - I know what you mean, the second I pick up a good book, they go onto the list of inspirations. And it is so lovely the support you got from your teacher once upon a time. Amazing what a small action can do to a whole life isn't it?

JMM - dude water has just always been a part of me since the beginning. And weird about you and eating, that has always had a huge influence over me too! (Dr. Seuss rocks, my favourite is "If I Ran the Circus")

Heidi - isn't Mr Adams a god?! I adore his stuff so much. But it's so weird how the books we like we tend not to write (not all the time, but often). I love detective stories, but I can't for the life of me write one. Kinda like you and sci-fi I guess! (and horse books :) )

Therese - movies are a huge influence for me too. I am quite the film buff so I write very visually (at least to me it is very visual).