Influence Map Picture

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer -
It was the first of its kind, and it was relatable, exciting, witty, and spunky. I think it was one of the first television shows/books I ever watched/read that embraced the urban fantasy genre. I grew up watching it, and I cried when it came to an end. Joss Whedon is a god who knows how to play my heart strings.

2. Dark of the Moon -
I know this is the second book of a fantasy series written by the wonderful PC Hodgell, but it was my favorite. I've re-read it hundreds of times, and still get chills during the epic battle. Jame and Tori are two of the best literary characters out there, and Hodgell wrote her book with two separate story lines - drawing the siblings toward one another until they collide in the most dramatic way. Just talking about it makes me want to read through it again.

3. The Dresden Files -
This is the newest influence on my map, but it's just as great, and possibly the biggest when it comes to what inspires my writing. Jim Butcher has created an amazing world with memorable characters and plots that run deep. He's also the first author who made 1st person P.O.V exciting and relatable to me. I FEEL like I'm standing beside Dresden, experiencing everything he is. What's more, Dresden never keeps anything from the reader - he bares his soul, and he makes me love everything about the series 10x more because I know HE cares about it.

4. Robotech -
This is one of the first shows I remember watching as a child, and I didn't even know what anime was at the time. It is a "grown up" cartoon with a long running plot, character development, death and badass space battles. It showed me that anything is possible, and that you don't have to limit yourself in your work.

5. Chrono Trigger -
This SNES game has everything. I still own it, and I play it whenever I feel nostalgic. It combines two of my favorite genres - urban fantasy and science fiction. What isn't there to love about sword fights, magic, and time traveling space ships? It was the first of its kind with its intense emotionally driven plots, subplots, seven unique characters (one that not every player can get), and 13 alternate endings. The unique storytelling is something I aspire to match with my own.

6. The Fellowship of the Ring -
Considering I never made it through the last two books of this series, I'm going out on a limb and saying I don't love this book for the writing prose (half a page describing rolling plains? NO THANKS). I love this book for the relationships and the little guys lost in the maelstrom of a much larger and frightening plot. I also cling to the Fellowship and use it as the perfect example of something that should never be adapted to film unless you count that
animated film from the 70s. Frodo is my hero. He's passionate, kind, determined and he never whines. He is not the pathetic, wimpy, heel-dragging, bug-eyed punching bag he's portrayed as in Jackson's films.

7. Redwall -
The first book series that I fell in love with as a child (I only stopped collecting them a couple years ago). Animals living in Abbeys, little mice overcoming great odds, adventures on the high seas and riddles everywhere... Just thinking about what made me love the series makes me long to re-read the earlier books. The only frustrations I experienced reading them, was that Brian Jacques wrote them out of order. I chose to not do this with my OWN work a long time ago.

8. The Sword of Shannara -
This is the last book my dad ever read to me, and he never finished because the book was huge and I only came to visit every other weekend. I took it upon myself to finish it and wow, what a sweeping adventure. It was the biggest baddest book I'd ever picked up and I was worn ragged by the end and in tears. It is probably the first book I ever read that really affected me like that. I still get teary thinking about it.

9. Back to the Future -
Time travel. I LOVE time travel. This was my first exposure to it, and looking back on each film I can draw so many parallels to the British television series Doctor Who. If time travel is done right, I'm a sucker for it, and Back to the Future is super close. It's scifi like this that inspired some of my earlier stories.

10. Cutthroat Island -
I love pirates and I blame my love for Pirates of the Caribbean, Monkey Island and One Piece on Cutthroat Island. I remember watching it for the first time in the basement of my parent's friend's house during a party, and being riveted in my seat. Gina Davis is badass as Morgana, and Shaw is just a badass fake doctor. The soundtrack for this movie is amazingly good, too and I can re-watch it a thousand times and still want to see it more.

11. ReBoot -
Computers are cool, and you should love them and treat them with care because there are tiny sprites that live inside them. Talk about jump-starting my pre-teen imagination and making me appreciate technology a billion times more than I already did. I didn't really love ReBoot until it got DARK. I lived for the angst, and the struggle that Enzo and AndrAla dealt with in their quest to return home, and how after everything they had to gamble the lives of everyone they knew to defeat the evil destroying their city. This show gave the viewer more than cheap thrills and stereotypical plots and should be rewarded for that.

12. The Neverending Story -
This movie is amazingly good. I loved watching it, despite having a near-crippling fear for the Nothing and those damn Sphinxes. It is how a good book should make you feel - like you've jumped right in and are there with the characters, experiencing the hurt, the love, and the excitement that they are.

13. The Dark Crystal -
This is the first kids movie I remember seeing with Muppets that scared the crap out of me. It was dark, messy and extremely beautiful. I love fantasy worlds and the one in this movie blew my mind. I loved the mythology and I loved how Jen finds Kira and they are the last of their kind. It's really tragic. Like ReBoot's later seasons, this treats the viewers like they're creatures with brains and it gives them something to really think about - to really appreciate - to really LOVE. This is what I hope to accomplish with my writing.

14. Zelda: A Link to the Past -
There's really not much to say after the last 13 films, books and television shows. This game, like Chrono Trigger, plays with time travel, but it's all fantasy - and I love fantasy (more now than ever before). Link is a small boy who must go on the grandest of adventures in order to save the princess and the country from the evil influence of Ganon(dorf). I guess I just love stories that have the underdog coming out on top and exceding expectations.
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