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Guest Post: Books that Impacted My Life with Marc Johnson

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Catalyst by Marc Johnson
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Series: The Passage of Hellsfire #1
Release Date: March 19, 2011

For centuries, the kingdom of Alexandria has protected Northern Shala from the monstrous creatures lurking in the Wastelands. Now, a dark force threatens that fragile peace.
Far from home, Alexandria’s princess is abducted. When a young villager named Hellsfire stumbles upon her and her captors, he rushes in to rescue her, alone and unarmed. His fear and fury unleash an uncontrollable magical force that grants him the power to save the princess—and change the world.
Hellsfire has never craved nor dreamed of power. But such magic as he now possesses has not been seen in Northern Shala for a thousand years, since the devastation of the War of the Wizards and the creation of the Wastelands.
Now Hellsfire must leave all he’s ever known, and make a dangerous journey to learn to master this wild, ferocious power—power he knows he is not ready to wield. More difficult still, he needs to master his emotions. If he can’t, the power will consume him, Alexandria will fall, and darkness will eclipse the land, destroying everyone he loves.
In the dead of cold, the spark shall burn...

Books that Impacted My Life

I love books. That kind of goes with the territory of being a writer. Over the years, I’ve read hundreds (thousands?) of books. A few of them have had an impact in my life, my way of thinking, and my writing.

1. Matilda by Roald Dahl

I loved this book when I was a kid. Since I was about Matilida’s age when I first read this, it connected to me in how strange adults were and how as a kid, you had to overcome so much it seemed like you would never reach adulthood. Of course, now that I’m an adult, there’s nothing glamorous about it.

Even though Matilda was a kid’s book and I was a kid, I knew that this book dealt with some very adult themes like child abuse. I didn’t realize books could work on two vastly different levels at the same time. Yet no matter how mature the themes got, Matilda still had charm, a sense of humor, and salamanders.

2. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson

As much as I loved this story and all the various adaptations it has spawned, it was a bit of an oddity when I first read it. Still is, I suppose. Most stories are told from the main character’s perspective, but not this one. It was told from a friend’s point of view. I do wonder what it was like for those that liked during Stevenson’s time. The ending must have been quite a shock to the mystery of who Hyde was and his connection to Jekyll.

3. Redwall by Brian Jacques

This was my first foray into a fantasy series and I would like to thank the Scholastic book form I received in school. I had read a few fantasy books here and there, but what made Redwall great was that every book in the series built upon previous books. I didn’t know such a thing was possible as Redwall revisited familiar characters and situations. While series are common place today, you have to remember that back then(everything pre-mid-90s) a lot of things were one and done especially books and TV shows. Man, I feel old.

4. Lit Life by Kurt Wenzel

Normally, I hate stories that deal with writers talking about how hard writing is. It is hard, but we do it because we love it, and while we may curse and struggle, we enjoy it. Lit Life deals with the life of two writers—one successful and young, the other old and critically acclaimed, and their lives intermingle together. Writing itself is very boring, but this book isn’t. There’s drama, tension, humor, and even a little mystery. A writer’s life is nothing like that!

5. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

In today’s world, you have to be dark, gritty, and edgy. Be it video games, movies, TV shows, and books, they all do it. What I like about Mistborn is that it’s not dark.

Sanderson’s very good at painting worlds with a very unique magic system, but that wasn’t what got me to love the Mistborn Trilogy. The premise was, but what made me a fan of Sanderson was that he can write books that aren’t dark, gritty, violent, and edgy for the sake of being dark, gritty, violent, and edgy. There are some heavy things in it, but there’s also some light fun in his works. It feels very much like Lord of the Rings, and that’s never a bad thing.

Those are just five books I’ve enjoyed over the years and have impacted me in some way. There are plenty other books out that have touched both me and my writing, and I’m sure there will be plenty more.

The Passage of Hellsfire:

1 comment:

  1. AH, yay for Redwall!! I've actually only read one of them, but my husband is such a huge fan, they've always had a special place on our shelves. :)


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