INSPIRATIONS...

There have been many authors that have inspired me through the years. Some have come and gone, others have stood the test of time, but they have all touched me in some way. Here’s a summary of who I believe have been the most Influential to my writing  (in no particular order):

 

There have been many authors that have inspired me through the years. Some have come and gone, others have stood the test of time, but they have all touched me in some way. Here’s a summary of who I believe have been the most Influential to my writing  (in no particular order):

 

Robert E. Howard:

 

I grew up on Howard’s tales. Everybody knows Conan, though Howard’s character was watered down for the comics and movies. Bran Mak Morn (“Worms of the Earth”) and Kull were also favorite characters. Top on my list, however, was Solomon Kane; a wandering Puritan swordsman with a mysterious past. Solomon is similar in some ways to Kalat’s character, and definitely an inspiration. “Wings in the Night” may be my favorite Solomon Kane story.Howard’s writing style, his use of exotic settings and mythological enemies are all inspirational to me. I like to think that my style mimics his, but I’m not really a good judge of that.

 

Karl Edward Wagner:

 

A dark and brooding author, Wagner’s tales inspired much of Kalat’s darker side. His major character, Kane (The Left Handed Swordsman from Hell), helped inspire some of Kalat’s fighting techniques. “Death Angel’s Shadow” may be my favorite dark sword and sorcery story. Wagner also collaborated with David Drake on the Roman era “Killer”.

 

Stephen R. Donaldson:

 

Donaldson’s “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” series had a profound effect on me. Here was fantasy at its best, with a protagonist that was as troubled and torn as the teenage boy who ate up every page. An amazing story filled with exotic peoples and lands. It didn’t hurt that Donaldson was from my beloved New Mexico!

 

Roger Zelanzy:

 

Zelanzy’s “Amber” books are still on my book shelves. In my memory, he was the best at painting scenes in color and light. Interestingly, Zalanzy was a friend of George R.R. Martin and helped him in his early years. Zelanzy was also from New Mexico (Albuquerque and Santa Fe). Must be something in the water.

 

David Drake:

 

I’ve not read Drake’s SciFi books, but he is a master at depicting Roman Legionary life and warfare. You won’t see much in “The Executioner”, but Drake’s Roman stories have definitely influenced my “Lost Legion” short story characters. His short story “Dragon’s Teeth” is one of my all-time favorites.

 

Stephen Pressfield:

 

Pressfield’s way of telling history through ordinary characters is amazing. I subscribe to his “War of Art” philosophy, and “Gates of Fire” is required reading for my children to make it into my will! (Seriously – and there is a test after they read it.)

 

Bernard Cornwell:

 

I don’t know if you have read much of Cornwell’s middle age “Grail Quest” and “Saxon Stories” works, but if you have you see that there are not very many “good” characters. Most of the main characters are greedy, merciless, and brutal. Even so, Cornwell’s battle scenes are unmatched and his depictions of the British Isles are amazing. To me, Cornwell is simply the best author I have ever read. His stories, however, do tend to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

 

Steven King:

 

For me, King’s strength is his use of dialog. I’m not a huge fan of his books, but I do find his dialog sequences draw me in and I forget that I’m reading and not actually in the story listening to the characters talk. Plus, I *finally* just now finished the Dark Tower series and Roland is on my mind. King's short story “The last rung on the ladder” is easily the saddest story I have ever read.

 

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