Influences Part 1 (of an indeterminate number)

Influences make us who we are. The people, ideas, and works of art that inspire us to a higher plane of existence are quite indispensable, and without them we would know nothing but this little place we call madness that is our mind. I want to take a few posts to discuss the influences on my life, beginning with the book that reminded me that I loved telling stories.

Before Bag of Bones, I had never read Stephen King and I’m pretty sure I never saw any movies based on his works. I have this odd quirk that keeps me from following something popular just because it’s popular, and so I think that perhaps knowing I was “supposed” to like him kept me from actually liking him. Yet, when my stepdad gave me his used copy of this book while I was in college, something about it intrigued me. I opened the book and could not put it down. I think I probably read the entire novel in about three days, forsaking much-needed sleep (I was a Senior after all) to satisfy my curiosity about what would happen next. I was hooked in all the right ways, and it was then that I realized that I, too, could write stories that not only frightened people but also encouraged them to enjoy life. Bag of Bones is a romantic ghost story that transcends its genre and is my very favorite of King’s works (although, admittedly, I haven’t read them all). I don’t think I have to tell you that King is an amazing writer because let’s be frank: you either know this to be true or you will never know how true it is.

The miniseries starring Pierce Brosnan is top-notch as well should you be more inclined to watch than read (although I certainly hope that’s not the case. The world already has too many watchers and not enough readers, but I digress). If it weren’t for this book, I never would have started writing Immolation, my soon-to-be-published novel. But above all that, I never would have understood what Mr. King says about writing: that writing is not actually what a writer does. A writer simply acts as the psychic in a seance with imaginary characters who use him/her as their amanuensis to tell the world what it needs to hear. If you are a writer, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you are a reader…thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for taking the time to lend me your eyes and your heart. I will try my best to treat it with the dignity it deserves.

Until Death is defeated…



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