Growing up as a kiwi in this beautiful country, within the vast melting pot that we live our daily experiences and call home, exposed me to the variety of different styles and genres.
As I began to read and develop my palate, I was constantly influenced by peers, friends, and teachers.
I became aware of a smorgasbord of different literary figures from different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Anything that was historically relevant from these influences I questioned and fell into with enthusiasm.
As an adolescent I began to devour everything from Enid Blyton (The Famous Four and the secret seven) The Hardy Boys and at a later, more mature age onto the grandiose epics and likes of Tolkien, Asimov, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Orson Scott Card, Douglas Adams, David Wingrove and Greg Bear.
Manu, who was like the immortal bards and alchemists of storytelling, the iconoclastic philosophers of “what if stories”, and writers who included discernable elements of great adventures or were adept at different genres and styles of writing.
Why did I like these authors?
They drew me into a world of imagination where I could find escapism from the mundane and dull real world.
Wingrove introduced the what-if ideas of China having conquered the known world. Asimov’s tales consisting of human constructed androids with a triumvirate of three laws of robotics enthralled science fiction readers for decades and while George Orwell wrote stories of engrossing social commentary with literal or metaphorical meaning, Arthur C Clarke captured a transverse of space within strange spaceships in his Rama series. Orson Scott Card wrote odysseys founded in Science Fiction (Ender’s Game- Orson Scott Card dreamed of gifted children being trained to fight strange insect-like aliens).
These days when I search for Fiction, I chiefly read Science Fiction (or Science Fantasy). Being brought up with technology, the emotional and classic confluence of science fiction and its interaction with humanity fascinats me, along with the eventual possibilities and grandiose reality of extraterrestrial contact.
While enjoying fantasy, for some reason or other I often end up gravitating towards science fiction and authors who write literature with enthralling ideas, stories with interesting or larger than life characters, dumbfounding and addictive scenarios, questions about morality and ethics, or retellings of imaginative possible alternative histories. These are the elements that make stories relevant to the reader.
Elements that inspire readers to pen their own odysseys for generations to come.
I hope you find your own favorite authors and allow them to positively influence your own written composition to achieve artistic excellence (and eventual financial success)!!