This Ain't Your Ma's Little House

We didn't always have cable or a TV when I was a kid, so my mom would do something many mothers have done over the ages to the delight of their children: she'd read to us. The Chronicles of Narnia and Little House on the Prairie are two series that stand out in my memory, and Farmer Boy was definitely one of my favorites with so many passages devoted to detailed descriptions of food. (I was a growing lad, and I liked to eat.)

Most of the tales I write are not nearly as cozy and heartwarming as Narnia and Little House, but some of my work can't help but be inspired by stories from my past. Take for example "Drawn from a World of Hurt," published last week by the fine folks at Fiction Vortex. It combines the frontier setting from Laura Ingalls' childhood with a fantastical Narnia-like creature from another dimension. (If you've read my Dahlia stories, you'll recognize Brawnstone the trollgre.) It's a grim tale, but fellow writer Tyrean Martinson described it as "Tough, powerful fantasy fiction with a message." Can't argue with that.

What's it about? Glad you asked. Well, there's a girl whose drawings can affect the world around her in magical ways. There's a sadistic young man who likes using his inter-dimensional powers for evil. And there's a creature from another world who tries to teach them both a lesson. It's about revenge. It's about making choices.

Cayden could have easily killed him right then and there. He looked so much like the creatures his gang had tormented and left for dead, crumpled on the ground and bleeding out. But she also could have made him whole. It was within her power, after all.

So now I'm curious. What books from your childhood have inspired your writing? I've mentioned before that The Hardy Boys, Lord of the Rings, and classics by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells influenced me quite a bit when I was an imaginative 12-year-old with a Sears Roebuck manual typewriter. What books can you blame for your creative stirrings?
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