Posted in Inspiration

Inspired by…

… J.K. Rowling!

Joanne Rowling (1965 – Present): English novelist, screenwriter, and producer

It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

~ J.K. Rowling

DH

Seriously though, what kind of aspiring author (of my age) would I be if I did not claim J.K. Rowling as one of my sources of inspiration? I’m pretty sure it’s illegal at best, and proof that aliens are among us at worst (Kidding, I love all you writerly folks!).

I loved the Harry Potter books, and still do in all honesty. I started reading them in Year 7 (first year of High School in the UK for those born/living elsewhere) at the tender age of 11 years old. So it felt like I grew up with those characters, advancing in school years as they did, bumbling my way through adolescence with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, navigating that journey from childhood to adulting with them.

My previous adventures with Fantasy had all taken place ‘Somewhere Else’, like Narnia, Wonderland, Neverland, or made up realms like Tortall. They were all connected to reality in some way (except places like Tortall), but remained separate and almost isolated. This was the first time I got to see Magic in my own world, in my own country even! These books opened my imagination to the possibility that fantasy and reality could co-exist, within the same space.

I also felt a special affinity with Hermione. As mentioned previously, I have a bit of a soft spot for strong female characters, and for me Miss Granger definitely fit this bill. I loved that she wasn’t just a love interest for Harry, or a damsel in distress who needed to be saved by the hero every couple of chapters. She was smart, strong, stubborn, loyal, kind and oh so many other things! Hermione’s character taught me that it was okay to be bookish, and not to care if people called me ‘bossy’. She taught me that there’s nothing wrong with getting good grades and enjoying learning, even if people labelled you a Swot, or whatever other word was ‘in’ at the time. She was loyal to her friends, stood up for what she believed in, and was willing to fight for what was right, despite the fact the odds were against them.

I could write an essay on all the things I love about Harry Potter, and all the lessons I learned from J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom. However, this is just a blog, and my time is limited (as I’m sure is yours). So I’ll end with recommending these books if you haven’t got round to reading them yet. And if you have, pause for a minute and think about what in these pages resonated with you. What stood out, struck a chord, and left a mark? As writers, maybe we can learn how to add such moments to our own work, by first being able to recognise them in that of others’.

Posted in Inspiration

Inspired by…

…Lewis Carroll!

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 – 1898): English writer, mathematician & photographer

I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.

~ Lewis Carroll

alice

I loved Lewis Carroll as a child! Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland were a firm favourite of mine. When I was 10 years old, I was involved in a school production of this well-known tale, in which I played the part of Alice. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

The idea that a hidden world of talking animals, and ridiculous characters could be find down a rabbit hole, or through a mirror, sent my imagination into overdrive. Even today, I can still easily fall into Wonderland, and enjoy the absurdness of it all.

I am always a fan of escapism and fantasy, which these tales deliver by the bucket load. The simple words of wisdom and common sense, in a world which at face-value seems devoid of both, is (to me) an example of exceptional story-telling.

Posted in Inspiration

Inspired by…

…Philip Pullman!

Philip Pullman (1946) – English writer

What is worth having is worth working for.

~Philip Pullman

 

Philip Pullman was another author I discovered in my High School library. I first came across his Sally Lockhart series when I was about 12. I completely fell in love with her. Also, this was the first time that I can actually remember crying over a book (although I won’t tell you why, because *spoilers*).

I later discovered his Dark Materials trilogy, and again fell in love with these vibrant, flawed characters. I loved the idea of Dust, and Other Worlds, and was completely obsessed with trying to figure out what my Daemon would be! This is also the only series where I actually prefer the second book to the first.

I loved the detail he was able to get across of what was really a very complicated narrative. So many worlds, characters, and points of view (POV)! Pullman’s books didn’t just offer a form of escapism, or an emotional attachment – they also made me think. These series’ were both considerably darker than anything I had read before, and opened my eyes, and mind to the fact that the world is not always a safe place.

I’m looking forward to the next installment that has been recently announced for future release, which I believe gives more insight into Dust!

Posted in Inspiration

Inspired by…

…Tamora Pierce!

Tamora Pierce (1954) – American Writer of MG/YA Fantasy

Every now and then I like to do as I’m told, just to confuse people.

~Tamora Pierce

circle-of-magic

Tamora Pierce is one of my all time favourite authors. I first stumbled across her books in my high school library, at the tender age of 11. I believe it was the Song of the Lioness series I read first, quickly followed by the Circle of Magic books.

These are stories that I can read time and again, and never get tired of. I love the characters, I love the worlds she creates, I love the adventures and conflicts. I love how her heroines and heroes are flawed, and often stubborn. I love the mix of magic and nature, and am pretty sure it was her work which first inspired my current WIP.

The idea that a girl could do anything a boy could, struck a nerve with me. Previously, stories had always seemed to reinforce gender stereotypes, and as a girl who had been raised surrounded by boys, I struggled to accept this idea. I loved how strong her heroines were – they were warriors! Magicians! Powerful sorceresses who were able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts! They stood up for what they believed in, they learned from their mistakes, and were not forced to chose between being true to who they were, and falling in love.

If my stories can inspire just one young girl, in the way that Tamora Pierce inspired me, I will consider myself a success.

Posted in Inspiration

Inspired by…

…C.S. Lewis!

Clive Staples Lewis: (1898 – 1963) British writer & Academic

I can’t imagine someone really enjoying a book and reading it only once.

~ C.S. Lewis

cs-lewis

Another of my favourite book sets as child was C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. I adore anything fantasy, and I’m pretty sure my love for this genre started on my first adventure with the Pevensie children.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first story I read in the series. The idea of talking animals, eternal winter and mythical creatures was absolute heaven to me.

Over the years I discovered the other books in the series, and later came to love the film adaptations too. I’m pretty sure/hopeful that I still have the box-set I owned as a child, storied away somewhere in my parents garage. Hopefully, one day they, and all the other books I seem to keep hoarding, will bring as much joy to future generations as they did to me.