I started writing when I was quite young – poetry mostly. I was good in English class and Reading, but I didn’t know enough to be able to write anything more than poetry in the beginning. In the 7th grade, one of my poems was published in the school year book which was a big deal to me back then.
I am a voracious reader when I have the time and the means. When I was much younger, I read a wide variety of genres and styles including Romance. I don’t care for Romance any longer, and the Supernatural/Paranormal Romance is just as bad. If I want to read porn, I’ll read porn and not porn pretending to be something else. There’s nothing wrong with sex in a story as long as it helps move the story along and as long as it leaves something to the reader’s imagination. I don’t need/want an explicit sex scene. Where’s the romance in that??
I am, and always have been, a big fan of Fantasy and Horror in their purer forms. Gothic Horror is now classed as Supernatural/Paranormal, but I still enjoy it as long as it’s well written. Violence is okay as long as it moves the story along, as long as it’s necessary for the story to develop. Even then, less is more since I can imagine far worse with fewer details. I love Psychological Horror where the writer lets you scare yourself with a few choice words and with fantastic anticipation building.
My favorite Fantasy author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I discovered him when I was about 10. I read Lord of the Rings and didn’t read the Hobbit until after I’d read the entire series. I was hooked on his style of writing. His use of words to create fantastic imagery was stirring. I cried during the thrilling scene where the Elves arrive in Helmsdeep just in time to aid the Humans they’d pledged to help so many years before. The final movie rendition of that scene was just as stirring, and I cried for the first time – the previous movie attempts had never moved me. Still, I wasn’t moved enough to begin writing. I just devoured every Fantasy novel I could get my hands on. Weis/Hickman’s DragonLance series as well as McCaffrey’s Pern series stuck with me the most of all of them.
When I was 13, almost 14, I discovered Stephen King. I’d already seen movies by some of the great film makers including Hitchcock, but none of them scared me like reading It for the very first time! Only Jaws came close to scaring me that much. Despite this fear, I kept reading King. I loved he didn’t tell me what I was supposed to be scared of, he just described the monster or built up the scene enough for me to scare myself. His use of imagery, smells, sounds, feelings, is still so vivid and evocative I thrill every time I pick up a new book of his. This said, not all of his books have scared me. Cujo made me sad for the dog. Desperation and Regulators disturbed me because they both had kids as the main focus of the stories. Rose Madder was close to being like a bad acid trip. He was, in the end, the catalyst that moved me to try my hand at writing.
I wanted to blend the two writing styles to create my own. I wanted to describe things with a minimal of words, letting the reader fill in the blanks as they would. I wanted to create vivid action scenes, develop well liked/hated characters who were believable, and I wanted to craft a story people would want to read.
My first three stories were lost over the years – my first was a post Vietnam war story, and the other two were Fantasy stories involving characters in Crimson Knight, the first novel I ever published. Those two stories were the beginning of my world of Padua. I have also written Supernatural Thrillers though my first one was considered a Gothic Horror two decades ago.
Others have had added some flavoring to my writing as well, but none have had the impact those two aforementioned had, and still have, on me and my writing.
What inspires you to do the things you love to do? It doesn’t have to be writing. It can be painting, music, poetry, crafting, whatever brings a smile to your lips and happiness to your heart. I’d love to hear about it!
See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!