Some people end up curious about where an author comes up with what they write. I’ve been told my writing is strange in no uncertain words. It’s been called ‘a-step-to-the-left’, ‘slipstream’, ‘undefinable’, ‘genre adjacent’, ‘not quite sure how to define it’.
To me, they don’t quite feel all that different from other stories, but when asked to give comps, I struggle to find a definitive relatable source. Often comps are book based, but I think that is where problems arise for me. I could tell you all day long the influences, but I wouldn’t be able to say this or that webstory is like this or that book. I take what I want of the stories I consume and adjust, like any decent fan writer, to make something I want to read.
The Fire in My Blood came about after watching Soldier, Waterworld, and Fire Force and reading a few non-fic books on mining disasters in West Virginia. Two of those are live actions, one is an anime. But are they comps? Well, no. I don’t think so. They’re ‘a vibe’. If you like these three things, I can’t guarantee you will like The Fire in My Blood, because you might not like boys love/yaoi. But the vibe is there. There are elements of dystopia; there’s a soldier dropped into another world where he has to learn to work with people who aren’t military – the barcode on Lunam’s cheek is a nod to Soldier. There’s the idea of genetic mutation from Waterworld and Fire Force, one of fear and consequence.
Fyskar? I can’t pinpoint too much as to where that one came from. A dream really, of a soldier unmasking a guide who came from a tribe the soldier had killed previously. It was supposed to be timeline adjacent to the Afghanistan war. Why is it Isle of Skye 1692? I wanted to explore the concept of how prejudice could destroy an entire people, and the witchcraft trials and the Plague both fell in line with the mask I wanted. I wanted the symbolism of unmasking. Coming out of a shell, breaking down walls and giving trust even when it might be dangerous. Vibe wise, Mushishi, Mononoke (Kurusuruyuri-san), Highlander, Ladyhawke, Kingdom of Heaven. That kind of haunting feel of wisdom in winter. Comps? WTF, what comps? You tell me. I can’t say Fyskar is unique, but I can tell you I don’t know what someone would compare it to other than someone saying once that it reminded them of John Wick.
Subject 15? The name came from V for Vendetta. Go watch it, and you might find that hint. It’s not an exact lift, but it was based on that. Again, the instigation for the story came from a dream…steamy nightmare more or less. Ehem. Anyways, guy ends up banging another guy only to find out that by doing that they accidentally summon an interdimensional monster because the military messed with this guy’s brain, and when he gets happy, it summons monsters. Congrats, you’ve just met the weird side of my brain that says: if you’re happy, bad things happen. I’m working on it. Why base Ishan Orlov as New Punjabi? If I blame it on the white-haired kid from Food Wars! and maybe a character from Trinity Blood that I can’t even verify if they existed or not now would you be mad? And Fane? Where did Fane come from? I don’t know. I like either writing my characters with white hair or red hair; it’s a habit I’m working on, so he ended up red. Why is he short? Because I was sick of reading a bunch of yaoi where the short guy always ended up effeminate and bottom, but I also wanted the prince to be competent and not some ‘damsel in distress’ but also not the savior of the world. So, short soldier, tall prince. It’s a love story twisted in with a dash of Stargate and hopefully not racist Cthullu. Again, comps? What comps? I don’t know; I can’t even really point you at an anime or movie for vibes. But it feels like a standard story to me of developing romance.
Polaris Skies. That one I will point to Wolf’s Rain and Underworld all day long. Those were my vibes and major scene influences. But the actual story? I can’t recall any journey stories off hand that are desperate, dystopic, and melancholic self-discovery. Then again, there are probably several very much like that but not wrapped up with genetic manipulation, a cult, or being possessed by werewolves. I like where I’m going with my stories though: A plague doctor, bodyguard, psychics, werewolves, vampires, angels, mad scientists, fire-benders, kaiju, time travel, mermaids. They’re kinda kitschy, but I’m having fun.
Subgalaxia doesn’t have much. I think it’s just a continuation of a natural storyline. One of accepting oneself, or discovering oneself. It felt like the way to conclude the series, so there might be vibes from all of it, but this one I can’t even point to an anime or movie; it just is. Oh, the breathing perfluorocarbon did come from The Abyss, but I did research how it could be used so it didn’t sound like complete bull.
Maybe that’s why they’re weird. Because I don’t think the ideas are weird or off base, I just write the conversations and go with what feels natural. Explore an idea and see where it takes me. I’ve been told my style is literary and that not a lot of people like literary works. I have to wonder if that’s what the feeling is, like Steinbeck and Hemingway, but crossed with a dash of Herbert and McCaffrey. Literature without the tragic endings and a twist of fantasy or sci-fi.