Friday, April 5 2013

Influences

It seems obligatory to write about your influences on this sort of blog, and I’m a slave to the Zeitgeist in that respect at least, so here you go.

Who are your literary influences, Paul? More specifically, who influenced and inspired you in the writing of Mysterious Albion? Without making any ridiculous claim to possessing their talent:

First and foremost, John Steakley. His book Vampire$ should be required reading for anybody who wants to write vampire hunting or Catholic horror stories, since it’s a great blend of both. Mysterious Albion almost certainly wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t stumbled across Vampire$ in an airport bookstore while waiting for a flight home from college a long time ago (in the last century, even!).

Second, Stephen King. When I was a young geek, I borrowed a copy of Needful Things from my friend Joe’s parents. (I think I still have it, too — sorry!) Later on, I was pulled into the Dark Tower saga, which remains my second favorite fantasy series after Lord of the Rings. The man has a gift for believable characters and grounding his horror in the real world, be it rural New England or the American West.

Third, M.R. James. This British writer is less well known than he deserves, and it’s a great pity. His short stories are excellent, and if you’re a fan of horror, you owe it to yourself to track down a collection. He wrote ghost stories that reflected his education and career as an antiquarian, setting the stories mostly in the England he knew so well. All his tales are creepy, atmospheric and with just enough “that could almost (?) happen” flavor. Go check them out. I mean it.

And there you are!

Until next time…