“Who are the biggest influences in your life?”
My parents and family, my partner, and my friends are the obvious answers here, and they are the accurate ones too, but as this is ostensibly a writing blog, imma hijack this one and talk about my literary influences. You are supposed to read a lot to write, and there are a few writers who spring to mind who shaped how I approach the task. Stephen King needs no introduction and neither does Lovecraft, as problematic as the man behind the madness was. But Peter Clines, who draws on both, is less well known, and I find that sad as he is brilliant at telling an evocative story either one of those two pillars would be proud of. Drawing obvious influences, especially from Lovecraft, Clines weaves a fantasy mythos in his Threshold series that hits all the right notes of quirky and unsettling for me, and I am sad there aren’t more Ex Heroes books as I love them. I finished his latest standalone a while back – The Broken Room – and I adored the little postscript with all the thought process that went into crafting the tale. I would love to meet and chat with him some day.
And then there’s Matt Dinniman. My god, I have reread the five published books of Dungeon Crawler Carl so many times now that I can just pick a book and place within at random and hop right in. The influence this series has had on me is to make me want to explore first person writing much more than I do at present. In the main series, I only use first person for ‘ascended’ characters, which is a term I won’t explain because a) spoilers, ands 2) I don’t think I ever use that word in the series itself, because it’s a state of being that isn’t all that explainable and would make for clunky exposition. But hey, now you know when you, don’t end up reading them. But go read DCC. In fact, imma do that right now. Again. Yes I have a problem, no I don’t care.