Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#3) -- Environment & Upbringing

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing? -- Andrea Judy

Having grown up in Georgia all my life here in the South, I've met all kinds of characters (and caricatures). I'm sure they've all somehow funneled into my choice of protagonists and antagonists somehow throughout my writing career.

I also have to credit (on the upbringing side) my Mom for helping to instill in me a strong sense of accomplishment and confidence. She lived up to that cliched parent who believes in her child to the point of encouraging me to be whatever I wanted to be and letting me know I could accomplish it. I'm sure a writer may not have been her first choice, but she was always encouraging me at each step, even before I knew I wanted to be a writer.

On that note, it was actually my wife, Lisa, who encouraged me to pursue writing when she saw that it was my dream. She believed in me, and in spite of the feast or famine nature of a writer's finances, she still does.

Growing up in the South definitely influenced my early choices of reading and my early writing as well.

I’m definitely drawn to a sort of Southern type in my characters. I know that and have to fight it sometimes, but at other times I just run with it and try to make it work for me. I’m very partial to Southern fiction and in college I devoured the works of Flannery O’Conner, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner. There was something almost but not quite magical realism about their writing and I like to think I take a bit of that into everything I create, whether comics or prose, from sci-fi to fantasy to pulp action.