This was a question in an interview with a Dutch poet which I read last week. It made me think about the books that have played an important role in my writing process – curious to see if I’d find the book that marked the beginning.
I read an awful lot of books of The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton, when I had just started writing. Charmed by Timmy, George’s dog, I wrote countless stories that included a faithful dog. (I even tried to convince my parents to buy a dog.) I must admit I still like the idea yet I haven’t included an animal into any of my stories lately.
LotR meets HP
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy set me off into writing longer stories in which a select company is chosen to fulfil a difficult and nearly impossible task. At the same time I began reading LotR in English, the first book of Rowling’s Harry Potter series was released. Swept away by a boy who finds himself in a new strange world in which he plays an important role, LotR and HP were fused into my stories.
Heaven, Hell, Oblivion.
One book that comes to mind that still has influence on my writing is Astrid Lindgren’s Brothers Lionheart. A children’s book in which death and the afterlife play a major aspect. I remember reading it as a kid, around the time I was preparing for my Holy Communion, and I thought it would be really cool if heaven would look like that. (Minus the evil tyrant and the fire breathing dragon, of course.) Without thinking about the book, death still intrigues me and often occurs in my stories.
All in all, I can think of several books that have left their marks, but I can’t say there has been a single one that has marked the beginning.
Do you remember what books influenced your early writing or do you actually have a specific book that set off your writing career?