How I Was Influenced by UGLIES

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And now onto our regularly scheduled topic week: Influences!

When I first started writing, I wrote an urban fantasy. That's the kind of whack stuff I used to like to read. I started devouring more than just Harry Potter, and I came across Scott Westerfeld's UGLIES series in about 2008.

It was new for me. Something different I'd never read before. As I was reading it, I thought to myself, "I want to write a book like that." But I had no idea what that was. So I turned to my good pal, the Internet. After some searching and researching and more reading, I realized that there was this whole genre out there called dystopia. The future as we don't know it. Warped. Different. Weird.

I liked it.

I wanted to write in it. Not only that, but I wanted there to be cool gadgets and technological advancements, and anything else that sounded cool and could explode or transform someone into something they're not.

Yeah, those kinds of stories.

So I did. I wrote my first dystopic novel, POSSESSION. Since then, I've dabbled in dystopian fantasy, and more hard science fiction, like time travel. I love making and exploring new worlds outside the realm of existence.

I've moved on to reading more of this kind of fiction too. THE GIVER, INSIGNIA, MONUMENT 14, LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, WARM BODIES. They're all completely different, yet awesomely the same.

They create a world beyond what I already know. I can't seem to get enough of this kind of story for some reason. It all started with UGLIES.

Have you ever read a book that expanded your horizons? What was it?


Jemi Fraser said...

A million years ago when I was in high school, my teachers introduced me to the Chrysalids, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, 1984... and they blew my mind! Great stories that pulled my mind in all sorts of directions - love when books do that :)

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Uglies was definitely influential to me. As I read it I felt myself saying, "I've always wanted to write THIS book and teach this theme." I had played with that theme for a while in my head but at the time I wasn't a writer and I wasn't sure how I would ever teach those ideas.

So when I saw what Westerfeld did through story I found a beautiful medium for getting people to think about things.

They are still in my top YA books ever.

Anonymous said...

Iunno, I sort of want to read your books now! Let's see, a book that really made me go "oh wow, THAT'S NEAT" was Feed by M.T. Anderson. The concept of the internet being implanted into the human brain was very interesting and new at the time. The book was so well written, with it's own lingo and everything. It's always been what I compare other newly publish novels in the same genre to.

Lenore Appelhans said...

UGLIES was the first YA book I reviewed on my blog. It got me very, very excited for YA lit, so it could be a big reason I am where I am today!