Perhaps one of the questions most asked of writers, or any artist for that matter, is probably about where we get the inspiration for our ideas. I cannot speak for all others and, to a degree, cannot even speak for myself. Sometimes things just come to me without explanation, but there are a great many influences that fuel my creative juices. Some are blatantly obvious to even the most remote outsider. Some, not so much.
Here I present five of those influences, not just of The Starhawk Chronicles, but behind anything I write. There are, of course, much more than five, but to share any more than that would make this blog far longer than any of us would want to read, and certainly longer than I want to write.
Star Wars – I know, you’re shocked at this revelation. Who would have thunk it? In all seriousness, I doubt that there isn’t a science fiction writer of my generation out there who was not at least marginally influenced by the original films of the saga. We bought the toys, read the comic books, listened to the soundtrack albums, tuned into the radio adaptations, and even (shudder) watched the Holiday Special (Yes, I have a copy of it on DVD.)
Silverado – This might seem an odd one, but I drew so much inspiration from this classic 1985 western. Jesse’s two gun holster rig and duster jacket were inspired by Kevin Costner and Danny Glover’s characters, respectively. And what’s a good western without a cattle stampede?
The Last Starfighter – Even more than Star Wars, this 1984 film was probably the biggest inspirational force behind the very first draft of the story, though there is very little that resembles it in the final manuscript. Almost 30 years later, I still love this film. Yes, the digital FX are crude by today’s standards, and the movie has more than its share of cheese, but it is still one of the great feel-good movies of the ‘80s. And how can you argue against the late, great Robert Preston as intergalactic con-man Centauri? Who else could pull off lines such as, “Did Chris Columbus say he wanted to stay home? No! What if the Wright brothers thought that only birds should fly? And did Galoka think the Ulus were too ugly to save?”
The film music of Williams, Goldsmith, Horner, etc – I have always said that I write cinematically, and when I do write, it is usually with the film scores of some of Hollywood’s greatest composers blaring through my MP3 player. Perhaps 80% of my music collection is composed of film scores. While I love Williams’ stuff, I find myself leaning more and more towards Goldsmith for sheer variety, and his score for Star Trek V The Final Frontier is easily some of his most beautiful work.
Walt Disney World – The end result of the worlds greatest dreamers greatest dream, it’s hard not to be inspired to flights of fancy while visiting this place. Tomorrowland, EPCOT’s Future World, the Contemporary Resort… all these locations have inspired some of the futuristic cityscapes buzzing through my mind.
There are, as I said, many more influences. If you’re a keen reader, you may be able to spot references to these throughout the story. If you think you’ve spotted one, drop me a line on the official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheStarhawkChronicles)
You can also follow me through Twitter. Can’t say how often I’ll tweet (Such a silly term) but I’ll try at least once a week.