Whether you’re a writer or a reader, what you read becomes an element of the psychological sum of your parts. Consciously or subconsciously all the words, images, and emotions associated with what you read become part of you. They find a niche somewhere inside your mind and wait there, quietly influencing how you feel, what you think, and how you act. They don’t control, but they do influence. If you want to know what makes someone write what they write, look at what they read.
While I was writing the Any Tomorrow Trilogy, I remember especially during the rewriting process seeing parallels that existed between what I had written and stories I had read over the years. I didn’t set out to make a quest novel or a river novel or a dystopian novel, yet all those storylines are very clearly there. As you read through the Any Tomorrow novels, you might see influences from J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings), Herman Melville (Moby Dick), Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness), Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange), John Allyn (The 47 Ronin Story), George Orwell (1984), and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World). There are certainly others, many of which can be found on my Goodreads bookshelf (link).
What influences what you write? Have other authors influenced your writing style or themes? Think back. I hadn’t read Heart of Darkness since high school, more than thirty years ago, yet when I envisioned the Fellowship of Seven sailing up the Amazon, the dark image of Conrad’s Congo came to me. And did you pick up on the ‘Fellowship of Seven’? I struggled for months to find an alternate term for ‘fellowship’ because I thought it was too closely associated with Tolkien. To me, the word ‘fellowship’ immediately conjures an association with The Fellowship of the Ring. In the end though, I couldn’t escape it, ‘fellowship’ is the perfect term for unwilling companions compelled by an undeniable destiny who find their ultimate meaning in a world savaged by a nuclear and biological apocalypse. Other terms just don’t have the impact. I’m sure Tolkien realized it, that’s why he chose to use it. That’s why, in the end, I used it also.
So what does influence you? Why don’t you leave me a comment and let me know? Or you can contact me via any of the social media links listed in the sidebar. I look forward to hearing from you.