Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Who, What or Where Influenced your Writing?

Wycombe Library as I knew it

Books have always been a source of inspiration for me. Great literature is like soul food for the imagination. It can take you anywhere at any time, no journey too long, no obstacle too great, no limits, no boundaries. Can I imagine a world where there are no books? NO is the simple answer. When I was a kid, my family couldn’t afford to buy books, (don’t worry, I’ve made up for that big time!), so the library was where I got my weekly fix. My town library during my teenage years was a place of huge inspiration. It was full of books by writers I had heard of and many I had not. 

Wycombe Library now

I made my way round the whole library, reading good fiction, exceptional fiction, high-brow to low-brow, from JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, John Wyndham, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Tolstoy, Zola, the Brontes, Edgar Allan Poe, Maupassant, Stephen King, Dickens, Erle Stanley Gardner, John Creasey, Denis Wheately (I told you I read everything!), to John Fowles. I had wide and varied tastes – I still do! Although I never dreamt of being a writer then, I soaked up words like they were going out of fashion.

Penn Bookshop
Some of the thousands of books in Penn Bookshop

When I was about sixteen, my dad and I discovered The Cottage Bookshop in Penn – a second-hand bookshop stuffed full of shelves, nooks and crannies, bursting at the seams with books upon books upon books. I practically moved in, losing hours in that place. I didn’t know then that Terry Pratchett had also spent hours and hours lost in the book alleys of this very bookshop when he was a kid. The Cottage Bookshop was the inspiration for L-space (library space) in Discworld. Pratchett often returned to the shop during his career, and launched his Johnny and the Bomb there in 1996.
Ian Fleming

Stephen King was inspired by writers such as Richard Matheson, Shirley Jackson, H P Lovecraft, and Bram Stoker. Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. Ian Fleming's James Bond was apparently inspired by Dennis Wheatley's Gregory Sallust series.

Tolkien was a huge inspiration for me – he led me into the endless worlds and possibilities of a genre I came to love.

So, it’s no surprise then that the first thing I ever wrote was a fantasy epic – complete with its own world, full of many lands, populated by a diverse range of people and creatures. There were several maps, drawn to scale. And hundreds of thousands of words: the trilogy had to be divided up into six parts. The manuscripts have been filed away. Every few years they get dusted off and reread before going back in the drawer. I may do something with them one day... I can’t say that my recent works have been inspired by one writer or a few writers in particular. That’s one I’ll have to mull over.
So what, who or where has inspired you to write?

Savita's Website

1 comment:

Mystica said...

Thanks for an interesting interview.