Influence Map Meme Picture

Done for `fox-orian's Influence Map meme here: [link]


Brian Froud:
Interestingly, for all that Brian Froud is an artist, he's had more of an influence on my writing than anything else. Beginning with his work on Labyrinth and continuing on through my discovery of his faerie books, Brian Froud has had a profound effect on how I view the Other. This is a man who respects the complex and varied menagerie that folklore tells us about, but which the majority of people have lost sight of beyond childish images of fluttery wings and tinsel.

Nothing captures my imagination more than the fae, and Froud's artwork shows them in stunning diversity that lets you feel a little bit of what people in our ancient past must have felt about these beings.

Enigmatic, dangerous and alluring: pieces of nature's power personified.

Music is all about emotion. There is a song for every feeling and a feeling for every song. Sometimes music inspires my ideas, sometimes it sharpens them, sometimes it simply acts as short-hand for the expression of a particular tone of a scene.

I've often thought of certain scenes in my stories as having a particular song as their "soundtrack". I often make playlists for my different stories. That way, if I lose track of where I'm going, I can just put the music on, think about the characters, and I'll remember the feeling I had in mind when I came up with the scene.

I have a pretty eclectic taste in music, but by far my favorite genre is heavy metal. I'm not sure when my tastes took a turn for the dark and gritty. Probably somewhere around middle school when I started listening to Tool and stopped thinking I had to hate Metallica just because my brother liked it. These days, bands like Slipknot, Disturbed, and Rammstein are amongst my favorites.

Anybody who I've roleplayed or shared my story ideas with probably isn't surprised at all that my music of choice is dark and angry.

Horror films:
When I was a kid, I couldn't stand horror movies. I know, I don't get it either. It's insane to imagine a time when I wasn't obsessed with zombies, werewolves, vampires and other creepifying creatures of darkness.

Of course, all horror is not created equal. To me, true horror is all about comprehension. Facing something so drastically outside of your experience or knowledge, your ability to understand, that you're left without a foundation to work from, and have to start new. In my mind, horror is a story of rebirth: the death of the heroes' understanding of the world, and the rebirth of their world view through discovery of the new rules that now apply.

Films like Clive Barker's Nightbreed, Hellraiser, Candyman and Lord of Illusions, Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers, Wes Craven's Shocker, John Carpenter's The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness, Alex Proyas' Dark City, and Stephen King's Sleepwalkers have all had their subtle influence on me, both as a storyteller and as a visual artist.

Disney's Gargoyles:
I was obsessed with this cartoon when I was younger, falling in love with it's mixed mythology, sparking my continuing love of the urban fantasy genre. Pre getting into comics, it was also my first real exposure to arc-based plot structure when most kids shows tend to be entirely episodic (at least back then).

While many episodes had a message they were never preachy, managing to subtly work in such worthwhile morals as cultural and racial tolerance, the futility of revenge, warnings to children on the dangers of guns and, most importantly, the hazards of trusting the fae.
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