At the Renaissance Faire, I was often asked “what other authors are your books like?” and “what books have inspired you?” I need to get better at answering these questions, but the answers are complex and not well-formed in my head. Some of this is the wealth of possibilities, and some is personal hang-ups.
Works of Inspiration
I grew up reading a variety of fiction. Peter Benchley and Michael Chrichton were a couple of my favorite suspense authors. My young adult reading was dominated by Christopher Pike and fantasy reading by authors like Mercedes Lackey and Carol Berg. I also tried to read at least one classic each month, sometimes more if they were novellas.
While I read a few Goosebumps, Pike was my favorite of the two main options for that target audience age. The Last Vampire series was an amazing arc in his YA offerings. I also loved his adult novel The Season of Passage. Sci-fi, fantasy horror? Yes. I was obsessed and must have read the book at least twenty times.
On the more general fantasy front, I read—and loved—Lord of the Rings, but not until later; around when the first movie came out. Earlier, I was reading series like the Arrows trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. I consider Lackey “old-school, easy” fantasy. This is my made-up term meaning I see her playing more to the presence of a driving force of “good” without deep or confusing intrigue. I love this. It helps you escape into
another world, you love the characters, and you look forward to the ending. Some of my other favorites from her are the Five Hundred Kingdoms books, the Herald-Mage trilogy, and the Obsidian Mountain trilogy she wrote with James Mallory. I also enjoyed her YA Hunter series.
Here are a few of my other favorites:
- Carol Berg: the Rai-Kirah series and The Bridge of D’Arnath series
- Jennifer Fallon: The Second Sons trilogy and Hythrun Chronicles
- Anne Bishop: Black Jewels World and Tir Alainn trilogy
- Trudi Canavan: Black Magician trilogy and Age of the Five trilogy
There are more I am forgetting right now. If I remember more this month, I will share for National Book Month on my various social media accounts.
One final note on some of my favorite books growing up regarding the classics I read. The early sci-fi books like Frankenstein and some by H. G. Wells were entertaining reads. I liked The Picture of Dorian Gray. 1984 has one of my favorite quotes—I say “quote,” but it is really an entire paragraph. Finally, my favorite of all the classics I read is The Count of Monte Cristo. Fantastic story. I have read it multiple times.
Where I Fit
Considering the varied influences, it is no surprise that my first series is not written for a particular market. The core of the Hidden Series developed in my mind throughout my college years. Larron’s appearance was 100% influenced by my super-crush on Orlando Bloom.
While there are LotR elements in my books, I don’t think I can say “If you loved LotR, then you’ll enjoy the Hidden Series.” It might be a little like Mistborn, but lighter on the intrigue. It has some similarities to the Lightbringer series, but again not enough for me to call it out. Maybe The Dragon riders of Pern or Trudi Canavan’s works? Those feel closer, but still…
Part of my hesitation with comparing my books to more well-known works is that I am comparing myself on some level to those authors. Imposter syndrome rears its ugly head, and I know I could never be good enough.
It is not true. With the comparison, I am attempting to reference the type of story a reader can expect. Experienced authors were not always as skilled as they are today, either. I don’t know that I will ever think of myself as great, but I think I’m pretty good. That is an accomplishment for me when it comes to confidence.
I have shared several of my favorites here. What are some of yours? What did you read growing up? What about now? Let me know here, or on one of my National Book Month posts on social media.
For those of you who have read and enjoyed my books, let me know your favorite part, or leave a rating/review on Amazon. As always, thank you for your support!