Influences: Part One

There seems to be an obligatory question when it comes to writers: who were your literary influences? So, I’ve given this some thought and figured out it wasn’t so simple as I might’ve thought. First, there are the influences of youth, which in this case lands squarely in the realm of the two big F’s: Family and Fantasy. My dad and uncle were story-tellers, but not writers. The morning ride to school, road-trips, bed-time, they didn’t read books to me, they made it up on the fly. So first and foremost, they are to blame. Mom was more the editor.

Which then brings me to Fantasy: Tolkien, Lewis, Donaldson, Eddings, McCaffery, Brooks, Jordan, Wurts, Friedman, Anthony, Williams (my apologies to Tad, his first book Tailchaser’s Song is still what I think of first when I hear his name), and others I’ll be embarrassed I forgot. But no matter how you slice the pie, Tolkien is the Guiding Star in the sky. His works were the first Epic Fantasies I ever read, and the finest. Nothing can touch them.

My favorite Tolkien story (going to date myself, here) goes back to the release of The Lord of the Rings movie… No! Not Peter Jackson, Ralph Bakshi. I feel old just typing that. A good friend and I were reading The Fellowship of the Ring at the time the movie came out, and conned my parents into dropping us off at the local theater. As fate would have it, there were two fantasy flicks showing that day: Wizards, along with LoTR. So, we watched those two classic animated films back to back.

That, my friends, is a glorious day.

Background Art by Jon Gibbons

© 2018 L. James Rice