James Edgar Skye is a fiction writer in his current dystopian fantasy novel Rise of the Nephilim, which explores themes of good versus evil, the future, pre-apocalyptic worlds, and the hero’s journey. He was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and PTSD. His self-published memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir was released in 2020.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own, and the ideas I explore are passionate to me as a writer. Any political opinions that come up are also my own. I do not exclude your point of view on anything I share. If you want to support my writing, consider my Buy Me a Coffee page.
I grew up reading books since I was three on my own. Not a brag, but I grew up around books. My mom (now deceased) worked as a purchaser of books, and I had access to any book I wanted. Needless to say, I got bored of Goosebumps (though I still read them up until about age 6) until I found that I loved the classics. I went from “Choose Your Own Adventure” books to my first real glimpse into great fiction—the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Part of my pen name James Edgar Skye is an ode to Poe, one of the greatest writers of all time (according to me). Every book cover I have had for my books and will have has an ode to my favorite poem, The Raven.
That led me to Hemingway, H.G. Wells, Jules Vern, H.P. Lovecraft, and Atwood. There are so many influences that got me into writing. Of course, the first thing I remember about the stories I began writing at age six was about UFOs coming to Earth or even those stories where I was the alien on Earth. I would scour the local city and county libraries for books about UFOs, and I was even gifted a collection once of Shakespeare’s many stories (ones I wish I still had today).
I was recently thinking about my first foray into film and television influences that helped build me up even to want to write dystopian fiction. One of the first shows that became a classic (not to mention I was in love with Jessica Alba, my first love) was James Cameron’s Dark Angel. I started to write fan fiction when they canceled the second season because I wanted my ending. (As an adult, I found the books that followed the show’s end.) I remember the fascination of not only a dystopian society that was the United States as a third-world country after an EMP wiped out all the technology but the idea of the super soldier Max Guivera.
Max first influenced me in my major novels to write a kickass female protagonist (which has become a significant part of my work). A dystopian future and that idea has been why I wanted and continue to write my work; I feel it is the foundation of all future work. I know many of us have our pronouns, but for the sake of this post, I will say that I write strong female protagonists because it is vital to my writing. I feel there are not enough still in the speculative fiction genre (I encourage anyone to challenge this notion, it makes for interesting conversation). While speculative fiction is a broad encompassing genre, I feel representation is a big thing that needs to change. Another area that I will include in my work is my cultural background.
I will discuss genre-blending and cultural background soon in future posts. I look forward to people reading this and posing this question to you, not genre specific.
What are some of the influences that brought you to writing?
I would like to hear your answers below.
Image by Egonetix_xyz from Pixabay
3 responses to “Influences: Film and Novels of a Dystopian Future”
It must’ve been quite awesome growing up to have such an access to all kinds of books, influencing you in many ways in your tastes and interests as you kept on reading! I grew up with Goosebumps too and often think of revisiting those. I wasn’t a big fan of those “Choose Your Adventure” kind of stories though. Thanks for sharing, James!
LikeLiked by 1 person
It is a true privilege. I have my mother to thank for embedding me with the opportunity to develop an unconditional love for literature. It was a luxury. One of my dreams is to donate books to and possibly even help open libraries where people in communities at the local level can borrow books for free. I wish others can experience what I was able to experience, too.
What was your experience like growing up in your relationship with literature and books?
The Goosebumps series is great reading. The “Choose Your Adventure” ones in Goosebumps? If those are the ones you are referring to, I would say that it was a bit quick to work through the endings. I enjoyed the concept, nonetheless. I suppose my feelings are mutual.
You’re welcome Lashaan! Thank you for taking time to share and comment on the post.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I loved books all my life and remember my mom bringing me to the library and allowing me to check out whatever caught my attention. It definitely played big in who I am today. I did have a couple of years during my teenager days where I didn’t continue reading as much as I used to but rekindled that as a young adult and will forever love literature for the rest of my life! 🙂