I have been asked to write an article on the works that have inspired and influenced me the most and I’m delighted to, because if there’s one thing I dearly love above all else, it’s talking about my favorite books and movies.
I dedicated the first of the Seven Forges novels to Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber. When it comes to naming the greats in Sword & Sorcery, you don’t have to look much further. Conan the Barbarian, King Kull, Solomon Kane, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. I dedicated the book to them because they were inspirations from the very first. They were my first discoveries in the world of Sword & Sorcery and they were a very hard act to follow.
Honestly, I can’t begin to imagine a better foundation. You can factor in later authors, like Michael Moorcock, who gave us the Eternal Champion in all of his myriad incarnations, and far more recently Joe Abercrombie, whose prose stuns me every time I read it. They have definitely left their mark in the field, but they are hardly the only ones. If you want to get picky you can go all the way back to Greek and Norse mythology for tales of heroes who fought against often overwhelming odds and took chances no sane person would consider. The thing about it is, there have been as many influences on what I’ve written as there have been books I’ve read and movies I’ve watched. Oh, and lest I forget, there are the comic books to consider, too. Continue reading