influences 1

Influences? When you are writing a novel. It is a tricky question, and not the least because pretty much everything is an influence, be it positive, negative, neutral, different, or indifferent. Every novel is a massive melange, a minestrone of melt.

I think I started by thinking about “Back to the Future”. Yeah, really. It’s a story about time travel, how it might happen, why it might happen, and what the consequences could be. My version, for the Time Anew series, was always going to be Back to the Future for grown ups.

Sex of course is a great connector of the past to the future, and there had to be a good amount of that kind of steam. But how will sex change in the future, and of course how will it stay just the same? Will people think about it as much? Oh yes. And will they think about it in the same way? Oh no. But there is so much of sex that we are here and there exposed to here and especially there, how to make it interesting?

I needed to include a lot of comedy content. Truths in the Universe rely on jokes quite a lot. One liners full of pith are somewhere seminal in the fabric of the cosmos, surely. I thought about Catch 22.

Sexy, comedic sci fi? Is that a genre? Science schtiktion? Well, I started to think about Jane Fonda in Barbarella.

I love words, and play, and I love word play. I thought about CJ Dennis rhymes that I read as a kid, and I thought about Doctor Seuss.

At base level, the novels are about a doctor who travels in time. And, yes, he has a companion. Thus, “Doctor Who” comes into play.

It’s futuristic, and I thought about old TV series like the Jetsons. But how to instil enough hard edge to give it the right kind of edge? I thought about Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Red Dwarf.

But it’s also dark. The doctor had to have the right amount of Dirty Harry. Like House.

“Futuristic noir” was suggested by my editor as the genre of my books. As there has to be a genre, in order to know where to place the book on the shelves. If your particular bookshop has a futuristic noir shelf, and I doubt it.

Perhaps it can find its place on the shelf labelled “genre confused”? Genreless? Genre defiant? Mixed genre. Cross genre. Genre don’t wish to say. I’m staying with futuristic noir.

But it’s also an adventure story, an escape story, a hero’s journey and an anti-hero’s journey. And it evolved in the course of the series. I am going to need a bigger “influences” boat. Read more in influences part two. Genre mysterious and undisclosed…

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