Guest Post: “Influences & Inspirations” by James A. Moore

MooreJA-AuthorPicI 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

Guest Post: “Watership Down, Or the Film that Made Me” by Jen Williams

WilliamsJen-AuthorPicI was going to write about some of my non-book influences for this guest blog. There are a lot of them – the video game Dragon Age, which pretty much singlehandedly reinvigorated my love of high fantasy; the TV show Farscape, partly responsible I suspect for my obsession with snippy banter and weird creatures; and Labyrinth, of course – what fantasy fan of my age wasn’t influenced by Labyrinth? And then I remembered a conversation I had way back when The Copper Promise was a tiny wee novella. Someone asked me if I’d named Lord Frith after the god of rabbits in Watership Down. I laughed, because if anyone would object to being named after the god of rabbits it’s probably my grumpy Lord Frith, and then I stopped laughing, because I realised I had done exactly that. Not entirely consciously, but then Watership Down has been with me for a very long time, and I have over the years noted it cropping up in tiny ways in lots of things I did. For me, Watership Down was a film before it was the book – I love the book very much, but if you really wanted to mess with my head as a very small child, you needed to come in the form of a cartoon. Continue reading

Guest Post: “Influences & Inspirations” by Jamie Schultz

SchultzJ-AuthorPicMy taste in books, of whatever genre, can be summed up as follows: I like to turn literary rocks over and see if something nasty crawls out. I can’t help it. For this, I thank my mother, who got me hooked on that stuff at a young age. I remember being about eleven or twelve when she came home with a box of used books, one of which was a battered copy of Stephen King’s Christine, old even then. The cover was black with a white or silver striped design with a skull on it, best I can recall, and I thought it looked pretty cool. Plus, I had read some of IT over her shoulder at some point, and, with a twelve-year-old’s typical fascination with the morbid, this seemed like a pretty good author to tackle. My parents’ attitude toward my reading material was, “Whatever you think you can handle, kid,” so I dug in. Continue reading