Guest Post: “Buffy, Books and Roleplay: On Childhood Influences” by Paul Krueger

KruegerP-AuthorPicAs a fantasy author who grew up in the 90’s and 00’s, I come to you with all the classic touchstones you’d expect: Harry Potter, obviously. Scott Pilgrim. Animorphs. Buffy, Angel… hell, the whole Whedon canon. I watched VHS copies of the original cut of Star Wars until the tapes wore out, because that was a thing that could happen to screen media back then. I stayed up late on Saturdays to sneak episodes of Cowboy Bebop and Trigun on our spare TV upstairs. Was I anyone’s first choice for Homecoming king? Not so much. But who cared, when I’d gotten my hands on a new Gotrek & Felix paperback?

I could probably fill a whole book with a tour of my pop cultural influences — after all, Stephen King did it, and the result was one of the best texts on the craft of writing in the past twenty years. But today, dear Civilian Readers, I’d like to talk to you about another corner of my history where I cut my teeth as a writer: in the lost world of message board-based online roleplay. Continue reading

Guest Post: “Childhood Inspirations” by Grady Hendrix

HendrixG-AuthorPicCrack open an author’s skull (preferably after drugging them first) and you’ll find a simmering stew of influences floating around in there like a horrible soup. It’s not pretty, but these are the things that shaped me as I grew up and wound up rendering me virtually unemployable, incapable of doing anything except sitting at a desk and typing about imaginary people doing made up things.

NUCLEAR WAR — I grew up in the Eighties, totally and completely convinced that I would most likely die in a nuclear firestorm before I reached legal drinking age. It didn’t help that my dad took every opportunity to tell me that the Soviet Union had 50 missiles aimed at our hometown at all times and we were on their list of Top Ten First Strike Targets. Continue reading