Thursday, June 2, 2011


Someone recently mentioned something about books that have had an influence and it got me thinking, remembering the books that first drew me in and then made me want to write in similar fashion. One of the very first was Lloyd Alexander and his Prydain series.

Why? Because it’s based on elements of Welsh mythology, specifically, The Mabinogion, which I find fascinating. And it has the very best characters...

There’s a wise pig – Hen Wen

An even wiser keeper - Dallben

There are three witches who are oh, so much more - Ordu, Orwen, and Orgoch

There are heroes – Gwydian

There are villains – Arawn, Queen Achren

A Bard with a magic harp - Fflewddur Fflam

A girl with her own crystal ball and a whole lot of attitude - Elionwy ( I used to to want be Elionwy)

And Taran, an orphaned boy who …but no, I won’t say any more. Best you read it yourself.

Who has influenced you?


  1. I didn't know The Black Cauldron was part of a series. I used to have it on tape, and my mom would plug me in right before I went to sleep so she wouldn't have to stay in the room. I can still hear the voices.

    Let's see, who were my influences? Well, I enjoy writing the macabre, so I'm sure R.L. Stine's Fear Street and Goosebump series, Christopher Pike. I read a lot of dark, MG mysteries, like The Headless Cupid, that I believe are still in my parents' attic. Those are the ones I can think of at the top of my head.

  2. Oh the Narnia books and LOTR!!! :-) Although this series sounds amazing!!! I'd love to read it!! Thanks! Take care

  3. I remember reading all of the Narnia books in sixth grade. Couldn't get enough of them!

  4. I like the way you have introduced the main characters - that little tease about each is very intriguing! Will look out for this series.

    Books that had an influence? Well, apart wanting to be Darrell Rivers, I'd have to say Narnia as well. Also, perhaps, The Moomins - absolutely loved their quiet whimsey and somewhat melanchony adventures.

  5. I LOVED those books way back when! I even used Dallben as my example of the Wise Old Sage in an archetype blogpost I did way back when.

    Awesome stories, awesome post.

  6. Definitely CS Lewis, and one of my mss was inspired by his book The Great Divorce. And Till We Have Faces is my favorite book of all time.

  7. "You must learn to answer for your own folly." Gwydion says that to Taran, and OH, how I have played that up in class at times!

    There was one year I taught The Book of Three in class and I had a group of students who really glommed on to it. All year long, whenever some student would try to make excuses for why they did this or didn't do that, the other students would chant, "You must learn to answer for you own folly!"

    I haven't taught the book in several years. Gregor the Overlander took its place in my line up. Maybe it's time to bring it back! (And I can think of just the right student to give it to!) :)


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