Someone asked me who my writing influences were yesterday, and they were surprised by my answer.
If I had to list my Top 3, they’d be “in order of appearance”
- Harlan Ellison
- Lloyd Kaufman (of Troma Entertainment)
- Zora Neal Hurston
Harlan is a master of dark and twisted writing. If you’re in the mood to feel gross and awful, go read I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. It delivers what it promises.
Lloyd is responsible for helping to create films like The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke ‘Em High. His movies with their over-the-top stories, violence, and social satire irreparably inspired/damaged me during my youth.
Zora is the curveball. She’s always the one who makes people say “Wait, who?”If you went to a public high school you’re probably familiar with Their Eyes Were Watching God. It’s her most celebrated work, but there is more to her story than just one novel. Author, notorious liar, political critic, and alleged voodoo initiate. She was heavily criticized by many for creating unapologetic writing. As a writer and a human being, she was fascinating.
Honorable mentions also include:
- Stephen King (a master of horror)
- Kurt Vonnegut (a, maybe THE?, master of satire)
- Rob Zombie (hit or miss, but always with great aesthetic)
I find myself influenced by a variety of media. Books, movies, video games, and music all inform my writing and story telling in different ways.
Do you have author influences that are unexpected or others find surprising, and do you find other art & media besides books having an influence on your writing?
Let me know down in the comments. I’d love to hear about them!