I’m sitting in my dad’s dining room, next to shelves full of his books. It’s made me realise what a huge influence he’s been on my taste in literature. There are piles of science fiction, fantasy, alternative history and historical fiction. There are factual history books, the ones that led me to spend six years studying the subject. Somewhere around here is a book mapping out all the journeys in Lord of the Rings, which triggered my interest in old and fantastical maps – it’s no coincidence that I had the Discworld on my ceiling as a teenager.
Dad’s DVD collection is the same. Historical epics, fantasy adventures, sci-fi spectaculars. It’s through Dad that I appreciate Star Wars and El Cid, Star Trek and Shane.
Dad’s undoubtedly the biggest influence on my reading and writing life, and I’m very grateful to him for that. He showed me that stories don’t have to be real to be relevant, that the past is a fascinating place, and that even pacifists can enjoy action stories.
Who made the biggest influence on your taste in stories? Was it a parent, a relative, a friend? What books did they hook you in with? Leave a comment, share your memories.