Yes I’m back AGAIN with my THIRD post of the day (I promise I’m done – I know you’re probably sick of me now!) but this one is AMAZING! I’m part of another blog tour, and today I have a guest post for you!
Amber Elby’s sequel to her debut novel, Cauldrons Bubble (you can find my review here for it), is out soon and I’m here bringing you Amber’s most influential books! I love reading about some of my favourite authors favourite books – it’s so interesting!
Obviously, Shakespeare is my primary inspiration and influence. His plays have many allusions in my novels, but he’s not my only source of ideas. I’m not a Shakespeare scholar, only a self-described fangirl, and my academic specialization is Victorian Literature, so my influences spring primarily from nineteenth century works.
First and foremost, I have to give credit to my man, Branwell Brontë, better known as Charlotte’s younger brother. He wrote tens of thousands of pages of stories and novellas (his “juvenilia”) that take place in a fantastical world called Angria, which is rife with magic and pirates and melodrama. His world-building is top-notch and surprisingly ahead of its time, so I looked to his ideas and magical realism for inspiration. I’ve been lucky enough to study some of his manuscripts and out-of-print collections of his works, so I think it’s unfortunate that his work is not more widely available and edited for casual readership because he would probably be better appreciated in our time than in his own.
Another inspirational author was Branwell’s younger sister, Anne Brontë, most famously known for The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I love Anne because she created female characters who broke out of their expected roles, so I used that premise when I wrote my protagonists. I especially love Tenant because it deals with a heroine who lies and keeps secrets, much like some of my characters, and it has several perspective shifts that I adore as well.
Like Anne, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a lady author who wrote outside of the norm. Her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” with its warped perspective and inconsistent timeline, as well as its unreliable narrator, has been a significant influence on my content and writing style. I love that she makes her readers work for an understanding and think for themselves, which is something that I aim to do in my own novels.
A more recent inspiration is the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. I literally cannot see this story without devouring the entire piece, and I may even have to read it after I finish writing this. Its cinematic pacing and creative syntax are especially influential on my own work. The last sentence, with its backwards phrasing, is one of my favorite sentences in literature because it creates such purposeful suspense, down to the last two words. (no spoilers, so you’ll have to read it yourself).
Of course I am inspired by everything that I read, so there are other allusions and influences throughout my novel. But these are my main sources of creative material, and they are also authors and works that only improve with re-readings and closer examination. Would I be able to write if I had never read these pieces? Probably. But I would not be the writer that I am.
Words by Amber Elby
You can also find Amber at her at these events this month:
Book Launch in Austin, Texas at Malvern Books on October 14 at 2:00 p.m
Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest at North Richland Hills Library in Texas on October 20 from 11:00 to 5:00
Don’t forget to check out everyone else on the tour:
Amber is releasing the first chapter to Double Double Toil page by page on each blog on the tour so here we are! Below is page 2 of the book – go check everyone else’s out for the rest as the tour continues!