Friday, September 20, 2013

Inspiration from the past

*Insert BS reason for not posting in awhile here.*

So I've noticed that my reading habits have gone in spurts - where I'll have three or more books on the go at once. Usually, these span different media, so I'll have one traditional paperback, something on my Kobo, another on my Kindle app, and one or two audiobooks, and the occasional graphic novel to mix it up.  Sometimes it lines up where it's "All King, all the time," but usually it's more interesting.

This time around, I'm immersed in some older authors. I've got two books by Richard Matheson, (Button Button, and other Uncanny Tales, as well as the original story A Stir of Echoes) in paperback, The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux on my Kindle App and Weird Tales by Algernon Blackwood on my Kobo. In my earbuds, I've got Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney and then, one of the best things I've listened to in a long time, a collection of The Twilight Zone radio episodes that were produced and played on XM radio.

These are so damned good. If you can get your hands on a copy - do. It's the original Rod Serling scripts, performed new by current actors, with extra care taken to the music and soundtracks that mimic the original TV series.

I don't know if I can overstate the impact that The Twilight Zone had on me growing up. I'm happy that I am actually old enough to remember when the original series was played (in reruns) during the afternoons. I must have been only 8 or 9, but the black & white episodes, which were a perfect counterpoint to the Andy Griffith Show, which also played around the same time, were some of my favourite TV shows of all time. It was the combination of the mundane world that needed just the slightest twist to set everything spinning off the rails of normality, combined with the dry, sardonic commentary of Rod Serling. It's that influence, I think, that people are seeing when they comment on the humour in my stories.

Those other ones I mentioned up there are amazing in their own right. Given that Matheson's stories were regularly turned into Twilight Zone scripts - it's no small wonder that I've found endless enjoyment in his short stories and novels, as well as a desire to get back at it.

Speaking of which - I'm hopefully coming out of one of my larger stretches of inactivity - the reason for which is none other than a heavy bout of the lazy - and trying to get back into producing some new stories for everyone to check out.

But enough about me.

What are YOUR influences? What or who makes you want to write?