A lot of the time, when people list authors they’re inspired by, I feel a little intimidated. They’ve got all kinds of well-known names on there — the giants, the classics, the ones everyone’s read and everyone’s loved.
And… well… I haven’t read them. At all. This is the embarrassingly small list of ‘classic’ authors I’ve read:
- J.R.R. Tolkien (The first two LotR books, in Dutch)
- Bram Stoker (Dracula, of course)
- George Orwell (1984)
- Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
- Yeah, I’ve got nothin’.
There are several reasons for my lack of education. Reason number one is, er, my lack of education. I left high school at fourteen, when I hadn’t yet gotten around to reading the classics in English class. (Keep in mind: I’m not actually English. We’ve got our own literature… not that I ever got around to reading much of the adult stuff, I’ll admit. Thea Beckman 4eva!)
There are a handful of other reasons, so don’t burn me as a heretic just yet, but what it comes down to is that the bulk of my lifetime reading comes down to MG/YA. I’ve been slowly trying to remedy that in recent years, but I’m hard-pressed for reading time as is, so I usually opt for more contemporary works. I know these authors online, people rave about them so I need to know what all the fuss is about, I need to know the currentday market anyway, it tends to be much faster-paced which is good for my short attention span… You get the picture.
So usually, I gloss over questions of inspirations. But when I wrote that blog post on Merel/Femke/Imke/whatsherface the other day, a lightbulb went off.
The mother-effing Griezelklas series by Tais Teng.
I devoured those books as a kid. It’s about a girl, Meral, who recently discovered she’s a witch, but who’s still clueless about it. Her mother places her in a special ‘horror class’, populated with mummies and wood nimphs and kelpies and werewolves, who of course end up getting into all kinds of hijinks together. Also, their teacher has a digital version of the Necronomicon.
It. Was. Badass. And, looking back on it, probably a huge influence on the Fae Print series.
When I thought on, another major influence revealed itself.
K.A. Applegate and her Animorphs and Everworld series. I read these books over and over and freaking over — and you don’t want to know the kind of words I’d call the publishers when they stopped translating the books into Dutch after books 14 and 5, respectively. I was livid. I only managed to finish the series in recent years, when I got my hands on English copies.
(This is when I realized the writing was actually not that great. I don’t care. These books are freaking awesome.)
Animorphs was a huge influence in terms of voice and characters, whereas Everworld probably planted the seeds of my love of cracky Norse gods (though there’s some of that in the Griezelklas as well).
They’re probably also why I love series with rotating point of view characters so much.
Take these books, add a liberal amount of Buffy the Vampire Slayer love, and you’ve got Always Read the Fae Print.
Classics? What classics?