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What books/series most inspired your own writing and how?

Everyone seems to get into writing fantasy because they read about it first. For me, the Obsidian trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory was the first fantasy set that i read, and it really influenced how I think about fantasy worlds in general. While it had holes and gaps that i clearly recognize as my viewpoint shifts to that of an author, it still had some really novel concepts that made for fun reading.

Other series that really inspired me in some way are the Sword of Truth series and Iron Druid series.


Eragon was super influential to me. The fact that the author was so young when he wrote/published it really made me believe in my ability to do it, too. Granted my skills at that age weren't very good so I'm glad that I didn't actually persue getting published lol but it got me started writing so I'm very grateful for that.

Another series that was big for me was the Guardians of Ga'Hoole. My story isn't...very standard, so this big series that did very well that was only about talking owls was also influential for me to see.

Mad Swede

The first fantasy book I read (or, rather had read to me as a bedtime story) was The Hobbit, closely followed by the Narnia books and the Moomin books. I can't honestly say that any of those books have influenced my writing, I think I've been more influenced by what I've read, seen and done as an adult.


Myth Weaver
Tolkien's 'Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings,' combined with Feists 'Magician' along with Elliot's 'Crown of Stars' (among many others) on the literary side for my primary world. Worldbuilding came from the old TSR 'Historical Earth' rulebooks, which gave me notions for coin and names and army organization and whatnot.

LeGuin's 'Earth Sea' and Robinson's novella 'Short Sharp Shock' provided the basis for the Strand and archipelagoes of the secondary world, though the situation on the 'other continent' on that world came from 'Epic, Game of Kings,' an old, old 'play by (snail) mail game.

'Dagon's World' came about via astronomical speculation about different types of planets and reading too many 'Carcosa' stories (though Dagon doesn't really fit into those tales).

More astronomical speculation and reading far too many Lovecraft and Lovecraft derived stories form the basis for much of the 'Eldritch World,' along with (bizarrely) a model railroad I tinker with now and again.
I wouldn't say any author has influenced me but perhaps it is a little bit telling that readers constantly compare me with my favourite writers.

Those I'm mostly compared with include Irvine Welsh, Ben Elton, Kurt Vonnegut and Michael Moorcock. An eclectic bunch...
I'd never read a Fantasy book before, accept for maybe a few children's ones when I'd been very little.

I read historical and crime and that was what I wrote. I was then looking at some art work a friend had made who was into fantasy and it made me think about adding history and fantasy. What would War of the Roses look like with wizards, dragons and unicorns added in...Ooo and maybe orcs and centaurs. His drawings were just so life like and beautiful that I could see a story in them. I could look at the drawings and think of personalities, situations and back story for the characters. And for months these images just stayed in my head. I looked at some Anne Stokes drawing and art and loved the fantasy gothic look. Especially one I found of a snowy scenery with a beautiful woman with two large white wolves. So I decided to take real historical events, even blend together historical events and add a fantasy twist. Only to discover that for many fantasy authors that was their method. Take a historical event/character then use some imagination, a splash of fantasy, make it epic and you had an amazing story that was, for the most part, also something that could realistically happen (because it had) just without dragons. I found ideas flowed so much easier for me than writing crime and historical fiction (absurd amount of research goes into those) and decided to switch teams.

I then did a basic search of who were considered some of the best fantasy writers of all time and binge read them for a year while experimenting with ideas. So my friend with autism inspired me. And now he draws art work for me, randomly, and I create characters out of them. He recently sent me a beautiful one of an apocalyptic scenery, with a volcano erupting in the back ground, a castle in ruins and two young woman standing amongst it all. One is on her knees with a broken crown beside her and the others holds a magical staff. How did this situation occur? Anyway, that's the scene for my latest wip. Maybe two sisters at war: one a queen and the other a sorcerous.


toujours gai, archie
I don't think I can say there's an inspiration to write initially. I've been writing nearly as long as I've been reading, though writing for decades consisted of notes, poor discipline, and false starts. By the time I got serious about writing, I had many years of reading behind me and these inform my writing in various ways. Tolkien is an influence because he has influenced pretty much all of us, but I don't see any direct inspiration there.

Really, it's more like looking up to models. Good dialogue? Chandler, Hammett, Moseley, and a whole host of mid-century writers. Descriptions? London, Conrad, Bradbury, and several others. So it's that sort of thing. Sometimes it's very specific, like looking to Tolstoy for battle scenes. Most of it's internalized, so that I'm not really consulting books, but I can feel them at my shoulder sometimes.

Very few fantasy writers, I have to confess. There have been a few, but they're more in the line of books-I've-enjoyed than sources of inspiration.
Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels are among my primary inspirations, as I also write humorous fantasy. Other than that, mythology, and books I recently read, are my primary inspirations, although I tend to just come up with a random idea, than put it to "paper" [so to speak. It's technically not paper, just a computer]
I've always loved Fantasy, since I discovered it [I don't remember my first experience with it, though, I couldn't tell you which book it was]; Sci-Fi is good too, but I like Fantasy better.

Insolent Lad

Barsoom was my doorway to the entire universe of speculative fiction. Whether ER Burroughs was actually that much of an influence on my own writing is another question. Some certainly (especially his humor). In some ways, I could go back to the Kipling Jungle Book stories I read when quite young. They are certainly fantasy and they certainly first evoked that 'sense of wonder' in me. And I do love Kipling's style—clean yet poetic.

But maybe more than anything else, the several short story collections of Lord Dunsany. The first couple are a bit too stylized maybe (The Gods of Pegana and Time and the Gods) but once he hit his stride, there is no short fantasy I find to be better. And I quite readily admit to his influence.
I have to admit that most of my inspiration for writing fantasy comes from my love of the worlds of Eragon and Lord of the Rings. I pull most of my inspiration from those two because they are the two worlds that make me want to write. I also read Narnia and a lot of other fiction, but they don't influence my writing in the way that Eragon and Lord of the rings have.