TV and movies – imagination boosters

April 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm

I recently read an entertaining book called The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (go here to read my review on it). It’s all about a girl who finds out that she and her friends are … a bit different, let’s say. As I was reading, it brought to mind something I hadn’t thought about for a long time.

It reminded me of a ’70s TV show called The Tomorrow People. I believe it has since been remade in America, but I haven’t seen that version, so I have no idea whether or not it bears any resemblance to the original. That version was about teenagers and young adults who had paranormal powers. Boy, I wanted to be one! I wanted to move paper clips with the power of my thoughts and read minds like they could. Imagine that!

I don’t think The Tomorrow People influenced me much when I was writing the Verindon trilogy but other things definitely did, because there’s no denying I’m a geek. I love speculative stories, and if I’m honest, I think my trilogy was influenced more by TV and movies than by books. Sure, Twilight the book was an influence, but truth be told, I saw the movie of Twilight before I read any of the books. My other influences? Doctor Who (which I have been watching since I was old enough to sit in front of the TV), Star Wars and a little known TV show called Roswell. All of them inspired me.

Does that mean I copied them? No, I did not. In fact, I did my best to delete anything that I felt resembled any of them too much, sometimes changing story elements that I liked because I suddenly remembered something similar in one of these shows. The last thing I wanted to be accused of is copying anyone. However, there’s no denying that they certainly influenced me. The high school angle is in Twilight and Roswell (even Doctor Who, if you go right back to the beginning. Superman could have been an influence there too). The royal angle has been featured in Star Wars and Roswell (and several other things, if I recall), and the unusual boy who a girl is intrigued by is both from Twilight and Roswell … also another favourite show from the ’80s, Beauty and the Beast, not to mention another ’70s show, The Man from Atlantis.

In fact, I’ve discovered over the years that if you’ve got a story that goes like this – girl meets boy. Boy does something amazing to prove to girl that he is not normal. Girl must find out how he can do this. They (usually) fall in love – then I’ll be hooked. It was probably inevitable that I’d end up writing my own variation on that story.

How about you? Are there themes in your reading or writing that you love? What has influenced your imagination over the years? Let me know in the comments.