Category Archives: What inspired me?

What themes do I love the most in fiction and what do I write? How has certain books, movies, TV shows, music videos and lyrics influenced what I wrote? You’ll discover that here, with sneak peaks on themes and tropes I am likely to write in my books!

Mental health experiences

Descent into madness as a trope is something I have written in a couple of my novels, I have always been lured into reading books that have this as a theme and I think it has something to do with personal experience.

I have been there, twice in fact and I have experienced the rollercoaster of having such mental illnesses, so I can identify with certain characters.

I remember being put into such a violent situation so regularly and though I would fight against engaging in any physical conflict with my aggressors, I did succumb once to a violent frenzy that was uncontrollable, my doctor reckons it was my brain going into survival mode as I explained how I experienced the red into black vision as I went into a rage that I can’t explain to anyone what happened during it, only that others were absolutely horrified at what had ensued.

I went through eight months of daily torture, having to share my life with a group of aggressive adolescents because of a day care school I was sent to, a school which ironically was supposed to have helped me heal from my post-traumatic stress experiences of the isolation and abuse I had at home.

I had recently had lifesaving surgery because of an infection that got too close to the brain thanks to the mastoid problems I had, it was literally just two months before the incident I had the operation.

So you can imagine how delicate I was in the head area, so when the group decided to push me over a wall that had a nine foot drop, I went into such a rage that I had no idea what I was doing and a girl nearly got severely hurt because of my actions!

It was surprising for another reason, I couldn’t bend over and care for myself for two years after the surgery and this was within two months of it, yet I could find the strength in me somehow to drag the ringleader girl across the playground and into the girl’s toilets where I nearly drowned her!

There were lots of witnesses who saw the entire thing, including teachers, who knew that I was a good pupil who didn’t like to interact with anything that would cause me problems (I had enough at home and was often sat in the library to get rest), I was shy and insecure and healing from awful surgery from which I nearly died.  They knew I was badly provoked and they supported me through this time and managed to expel this girl, even though she did come off the wrong end that day – this was enough for them to feel that she was never meant to have been around vulnerable children – this school was just a stop gap for her as she had been expelled before.

I’ve experienced such deep depression and loss to the extent I have become anorexic and addicted to exercise to the point of collapse.  I have been there; I have even experienced the loss of two pregnancies, one due to violence and the other as an ectopic pregnancy.

I have been a victim of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect and rape. 

I know what it feels like to lose control.

When I used to engage with English tutors they would be horrified at the graphicness of my writing, particularly when I used to write horror and thriller more than I do now.  I said to them, you told me that it’s best to write what you know and that shocked them even more.

Some people just can’t believe that one person can have gone through as much as I have; I have even had therapists quit on me, due to the extent they didn’t know how to help me as there was just so much to work on – so much crap in my life!

I have experienced a huge amount of discrimination from ex-boyfriends who don’t believe I have gone through all of these things, because it’s too much.  Paul is different; he understands and has witnessed a few things for himself.

I have only written about four characters with this trope, horror, thriller and dark fantasy.

Usually the character has some kind of background as being a victim of abuse.

I know the feeling of the spiral of hopelessness, that darkness that descends over you and clouds your vision, that experience of losing control of not only your mind but your actions.  Losing such control that no matter how much you really want to talk it through to people, you can’t utter a single word, it is like your mouth has been sewn up and there is nothing you can do.  You can’t move your eyes to look at them, it is as though you have been paralysed.

Yes, I have experienced the total breakdown, where I have well and truly become non-comprimentos, it lasted nearly a year.

The thing is, when you are in that state, you can see and hear what is going on around you, but you can’t respond, it’s like you have been turned into stone.

You can still remember what goes on around you sometimes, but you just can’t react.  I reacted once, finally, when in this… it shocked me too, as well as the people around me… because I wasn’t eating they threatened to put tubes into me to make me eat and on the day they were about to insert the tubes, I came to again.  Fighting against them doing this to me; I don’t know to this day, why it was that which woke me out of that state.  But I spoke them into allowing me have half an orange to see how I go.  They didn’t put the tubes in me.

The problem was my keyworker loss her kindness for me after this, because in her eyes, I must have been pretending all this time – I wasn’t!

Happy reading!

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Combat sports and feminine culture

Combat sports is another big influence in my stories; being a former judoka from the age of ten, I was just six weeks shy of the Commonwealth games trials of 1998 when I was rushed into A&E with a serious mastoid infection that literally ended my career before it could even begin, because I couldn’t do any kind of self-care for two years after the life-saving surgery I had to undergo.

This devastated me totally on a mental health level, because I used judo as a means to train my body for the hard knocks I was preparing it for as a professional wrestler, when I left school for college.  My grandfather was a backyard wrestler in the early 40s and 50s and he was a huge wrestling fan and I wanted to make him proud of me as he looked down from heaven and saw his “little cocker” as he called me, as world women’s champion!

But that was never meant to be, because my surgery meant that I had lost certain bones at the back of the right side of my head, which meant any future impact could be life threatening, so all dreams of combative sports had to end right there and then!

I love combat sports of all kinds, judo, karate, cage fighting, boxing, you name it, and I love it.

A lot of the various gimmicks in professional wrestling and other forms of fighting, whether it is combative entertainment or real, had influenced a lot of my characters and sceneries in some of my books – particularly those of the dystopian and cyberpunk genres.

I have a lot of background knowledge in fighting terminologies that can help with understanding the jargon, but I do know that a lot of my readers will not be au fait with the sport jargon that could be in the books, so I have honed in my skills as a very good describer of action scenes – of which a former English tutor is rather impressed with and says is a rare talent.

Along with my love for combat sports, I have a massive love for war history and battle games such as Rome total war, Warhammer, Medal of Honour and such the likes.

Back in 2004 I became an online player of Rome Total War’s original game that was based on my favourite TV show “Time Commanders”, as an avid devourer of history books, this was a massive thing for me and I soon became one the top five best generals in the world on their game leader board for two years!  Under the name Raven Warrior!

More recently I follow the artist Jazza which lead me to finding his brother’s channel of which I enjoy immensely “Shadiversity” which talks about the history of weapons and how good they are or not.  This is another tool which has helped me a lot in writing action scenes and accurate war scenes in my books.

You will find that there is a lot of fighting in my stories usually, but it is not constant mindless violence, I hope you will agree someday.

I’ve never been a girly girl and seeing ultra-feminine and helpless women in fiction is rather irritating for me, my characters tend to be female lead, strong-minded and independent women that save themselves because of hard times dragging them through into survival mode; usually they don’t have time to sit back and daydream of their perfect love life, they are usually dreaming about freedom and where the next meal is coming from! 

Thanks for reading!

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Cyberpunk, fashion & shiny things

Cyberpunk has influenced me a lot over the years, in entertainment, fashion and art!

A majority of the books I loved the most have been in some form or another associated with cyberpunk themes.  “Arc of a scythe” by Neal Shusterman and 1984 by George Orwell are my favourites so far.

Movies such as Tank Girl, Judge Dread, and Escape from New York have influenced more than just one of my novels over the years.

Though for me I am sure it is the visual and descriptive porn that grips me the most in this genre.  I am one of those weirdos that notices things in the background of a movie, the behind the character settings – looking at all the gadgets and gizmos and the wiring and so forth, trying to figure out how to describe the technology in use and often I am entranced by the neon lightings that is sometimes usual in such movies – I do like my shinies.

As a teenager I likened myself as a Goth, but I liked to be colourful and bohemian and it wasn’t until my late twenties I realised I should have been a cyber Goth.

TV shows such as The Tribe have also massively influenced a group of characters in a novel; I am working on and so have the suicide squad.

Video games seem to be the best influencer for me in this genre and various music videos.  Mostly for me it is visual being translated into a written form and being influenced by the technological styles of a futuristic world and their fashions!  I am not technologically smart and generally I find learning new technologies boring, but if I can find out the basic gist of gadgets and basic jargon I sail through it easily on paper.

Really readers don’t really want to understand the exacting details of how to operate the machinery (or do they?), but they do want to be enthralled about what technology can do and to have innovative ideas in written fictional form to influence massive changes in the world!

For me, cyberpunk is about a world that is relying too much on technology, whilst having a near uniformed but cool fashion sense along with it, but lo and behold it also has a near apocalyptic feel to it, because their world is crumbling down around them, they are so super sapped into technological cyberspace that they have to learn to be primitive again in order to survive – that’s the kind of cyberpunk I love!

Largely I love fashion, so any way at all to get inventive with it in text is a big thing for me, yes I do tend to be a little descriptive of what the characters are wearing, because I have the fashion bug!

I am also a huge cosplay lover, so I love the idea of inventing stuff for my characters in case the stories ever get published and popular!  Because, why not?

Got to have fun right?

Happy reading!

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Anthropomorphised animals

Since a child I have loved anything that anthropomorphised animals, I got into this after seriously becoming a mega fan of “The animals of Farthing Wood” TV series and being an avid collector of their magazine and other merchandise; it wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered that “The animals of Farthing Wood” was actually and originally a novel. 

I think I was one of the first children in this country to fully understand the impact humanity has on the environment and the animal kingdom, because I remember being commended in one of my schools for a poem I did about pollution and its effects on animals when I was just seven (that’s 1989).  I was a child, who was raised in the suburbs of North London, but I was often shipped out to other relatives around the country who lived rurally and on farms, so being a natures child in every sense of the word, I saw the massive changes humanity did to the world.

Every other month as I grew up my heart broke time and time again as more and more of my favourite outdoor places became new housing estates or had a railway track inserted through it and the dead animals that lined the tracks were heart wrenchingly numerous.

As a mostly isolated child who was ignored unless needed, I was often made to play in the large gardens with the pets I had, usually dogs and a rabbit, but squirrels and various birds became very tame around me as I was growing up that they became extended outdoor living pets.  I grew to empathise more with animals than with people.

To me, the animals seem to speak to me and we had an understanding, I learned their habits as much as they learned mine and we respected each other and each other’s ways.  This is why I found it easy to fall into shamanism, because it wasn’t so much as I wanted to be a shaman, rather than, I flowed into it without realising and it wasn’t until a high school friend said to me she thinks I am a shaman because of my ways, that I accepted that maybe she was right and I am that. 

So I read some books on the subject and I was laughing at how basic the training was in it, been there, done that was my response to a lot of it.  It was just so natural to me, that it seemed ludicrous to think people need courses on these things – whereas if they weren’t so involved in being human and doing modern human things, they’d all be like this too – it’s natural.

I know as I was growing up, cousins and even my own mother would be frustrated at how the squirrels and the crows won’t go near them, when they wanted to pet them right then and there like I could… I would tell them, you need to do this and do that before they come to you, you need to respect them and do it like this because they see it as impolite if you don’t – “you’re mad” was often the response as they grumpily slump off back inside, hating nature for rejecting them!

“The Animals of Farthing Wood” were not the only inspirations however, there were many others such as “Blinky Bill”, various Disney movies, “Rude dog and the dweebs” and so much more! 

So animals in some way or another are a regular feature in my stories.

Happy reading!

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