I have always been a great lover of stories. Stories in books, stories in movies, stories in television shows, video games, and music. Each and every story affects me differently. There are many stories I don’t like and many that I do but every so often, a story will be more than just something consumed. It will light a spark in my brain that inspires me to create something for myself. The purpose of this series of blog posts then will be to share with you all of the stories that lit that spark during the time that I was writing my book and explain what particular elements affected me deepest.
For this first post in the series, I thought it only fitting to start with books. So, without further ado, here are the books that most inspired the writing of The Good Goblin.
1. Goblins in the Castle by Bruce Coville
This is the book that started my whole fascination with goblins. That might sound like a strange thought, being “fascinated with goblins” but it’s true. I still remember quite vividly the wonder and fear that I felt when reading this book late at night before bed. Something about a horde of goblins locked in up in the attic and listening to them each and every night scratching at the door just set my imagination on fire. I rediscovered this book twenty or so years later and found myself remembering all of the old feelings and wonder that I had felt then.
2. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowsi
Like the previous entry, I read this book long before I began writing about goblins. However, it was the structure of the book that stood out to me and changed the way I thought about writing. The Last Wish is a series of shorter stories that all have an overarching plot line that connects them. I loved this format because for someone who has very little time to read, it was very satisfactory to be able to sit down and read a whole self-contained story in a couple sittings and yet ultimately still have the enjoyment of a larger narrative. My plan right now for The Good Goblin series is something similar. I have 9 self-contained shorter stories in mind that will all have an overarching plot line that connects them. I plan to then break them up into 3 novel-length books once complete.
3. Dark Mirror by R.A. Salvatore
This is the story that brought me back to goblins years after first reading Goblins in the Castle. It’s a short story about a goblin who isn’t the bloodthirsty killer that the rest of his kind are in the Forgotten Realms lore. I wouldn’t necessarily call him “good” and his outlook on life is much bleaker than that of my Ben, however, I loved seeing a goblin for once portrayed as something other than a tiny, mischievous killing machine.
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
There’s really no need to introduce this book as I’m fairly certain everyone on the planet at least knows the basics of what it’s about. However, I wanted to point out the parts of this book and really all of the Harry Potter books that influenced me the most. It may sound strange to some but I have always derived the most pleasure from the quiet moments in these books. The times where Harry and friends are just going to classes or shopping in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. When they’re sitting in front of a fire in the Gryffindor common room playing wizard chess or studying. Those are the moments when I most felt as though I were living in that world alongside the characters I was reading about and it was in the spirit of those quiet moments that I based most of the plot line of The Good Goblin and it’s sequels.
5. Kate Milford books (particularly Greenglass House & The Left-Handed Fate)
I’ve found throughout the decade-plus that I’ve been writing stories, that my writing tends to fluctuate slightly depending on the other stories that I’m consuming at the time. This is a phenomena that I’ve heard other authors talk about and one that I kept in mind during my time writing this book. I first discovered Kate Milford’s writing last winter when I listened to the audiobook of Greenglass House (highly recommend, especially during Christmastime!) and I instantly became a big fan of her writing style. It was while I was reading The Left-Handed Fate and it’s prequel Bluecrowne that I wrote the largest chunks of The Good Goblin and did most of my editing work. Her writing is exactly what I’ve always strove for, vivid, exciting, and heartwarming with characters that you really care about. I’m looking forward to the sequel to Greenglass House next month to get me through the final stretch of the second Good Goblin book (which at this point is about a third complete!)
That’s it for now, stayed tuned for the second part of this blog series. I’m not sure yet what I’ll be talking about but it will most likely either be movies or television shows. I hope everyone has a great week!