I have two teenage daughters. As I watch them go about their lives in their own little universes, it inevitably leads to flashbacks of my own teenage years. My high school career was at the very end of the 80s and very beginning of the 90s, so I have two of our most warped decades to thank for my personality. I also blame a lot of it on my dad.
When I get an idea for a story I want to tell, I write it down. But as I read back through it once it’s done, I can see the influences from my teenage years. It’s all there, glaringly obvious to me. If I ever become published, I think it might come as no surprise to my readers to discover who my major media influences were (and in many cases, still are).
The Far Side – I have six books of Gary Larson’s collections, and they are left out and read through daily when I have a few minutes of ‘me’ time. This current sentence was going to be TMI, but I removed it. You’re welcome.
Pictured: How I Plot My Character's Life, Part I.
Sci-Fi – I was going to list out specifics, but really it needs to be lumped into one. X-Files, Star Wars, Star Trek, the Terminator, Sliders, X-Men comics, etc.
Pictured: OMG Heaven.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus – They used to show re-runs late at night on MTV, as well as Britain’s The Young Ones. These were happy, happy times for me, my friend. The offbeat and unexpected plots have heavily influenced my own plotting.
Pictured: How I Plot My Character's Life, Part II. You might notice a running theme...
Dean Koontz – Yes, I mention him on occasion. I read my first Koontz book when I was 12. Lightning. It was about time travel, fighting Nazis, redemption, and being a writer. It’s been a huge influence on me, and most likely why my first three series I wrote dealt with time travel, and why I suck up all things time travel like a sponge. A lot of people dismiss Koontz as a horror writer and never try him, but he’s written some of the most amazing characters I’ve ever read.
Pictured: OMG Heaven cubed. Aka: The Incarnate of Awesome.
Darlene Conner – Played by Sara Gilbert on Roseanne. I was (and in many ways still am) a version of this character, so much so my dad called me ‘Darlene’ half the time. It reflects in my narrative voice when I write.
Pictured: Me and my nerdy boyfriend. Funny how I look more like Roseanne now. OMG. WE DO TURN INTO OUR MOTHERS.
So, there’s my list. What’s yours? What are the defining media influences on you and your writing?