Inspiration is a hard thing to pinpoint. When I first contemplate what it is that inspires my writing, my initial response is, ‘everything.’ I know it might sound pretentious, but it’s the truth. As probably any author will tell you, I find myself drawing upon my life experiences: the people I meet, the places I go, the memory of a holiday or the smell of a particularly delicious cup of coffee, even leaves blowing across the road can give me an idea for a scene or an image in my writing. However, thinking on this question more—what inspires my writing?—I went back to my childhood. What movies did I
love to watch? What books did I love to read? What games did I play?
I remember playing superhero in my backyard with my brother and some of the neighborhood kids. Everyone would say they wanted to fly, or have super strength, and my response was always I want to have telekinesis, like Jean Grey from X-Men or the Jedi using the Force from Star Wars, because then I could do everything my friends wanted, and more. I always considered myself the clever one, and with an older brother, I’m naturally über competitive. It was actually those days in the yard, climbing up trees and playing pretend, that translated into the abilities discovered in The Chronicles of Landon Wicker.
But I think my stories and my influences also stem from a childhood absorbed in adventure and fantasy. I was an avid reader as a child, which is pretty unique for a little boy, and I always found myself engrossed in some new adventure story, comic book superhero tale, mystery or fantasy. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia, Sherlock Holmes or The Hobbit. As I grew up, I went on to be particularly fond of stories that delved into the heart of human nature, like The Picture of Dorian Grey, Crime and Punishment and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or classic tales of epic heroes and myths, particularly The Once and Future King and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I think I try to marry those things in my work: I want excitement and intrigue, but channeled through innate human truths and emotions. The mythological references, however, originate more so from a personal passion for the subject which has inadvertently snuck its way into my writing. My phone is named “Thor’s Hammer” so it doesn’t even stop at my writing.
But it wasn’t until I read Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan that I realized there might be a place for a storyteller like me. I don’t consider my writing to be too high-brow or overly stylized like, say, James Joyce, or to have the same eloquent phrasing as Oscar Wilde (although I aspire to it), but I do think I have stories that are full of life and adventure that hopefully will provide a reader with a moment of escape where they can find themselves immersed in the lives of my characters.
When I started The Chronicles of Landon Wicker, it wasn’t because I had thought I wanted to be an author. It was that I had a story I wanted to get out, and it seemed like typing it out with words and dialogue (and all that’s in between) was the best way to do it. What’s funny, though, is that it wasn’t until I was visiting my parents in Florida for Christmas last year, I told them I had written a book. I kept my novel totally secret until I had the first draft completed. While my dad asked the usual gamut of questions—what’s it about?, what made you write it?, why didn’t you tell us earlier?—my mom left the table and opened up the closet beside the dining room. You all have them. You know, the one that’s filled with board games and linens, vases and grandmother’s china your sister will inherit. I thought she was going to pull out Balderdash or Scattergories (favorites in our family and staples during the holidays), but instead she went back into the bin of photographs and pulled out a black and white composition notebook. I’d forgotten all about it, let alone knew my mother had kept it all these years. She handed to me. I started looking through the pages, reminiscing on all the stories I made up, laughing at the horrible spelling and terrible sentences, but what she said as she sat back down was, “You know the first thing you ever told me you wanted to be when you grew up, was a writer.”
So when I think about what inspires my writing, I think on all those experiences, those moments with my family, conversations with friends, heartaches, happy days, exciting triumphs and sad failures, and wonder: maybe this adventure in writing I’ve come to love was actually a passion I’ve always held on to, that I somehow forgot which subconsciously—maybe fatefully—returned.
Fifteen-year-old Landon Wicker is psychokinetic, but the tragic unleashing of his abilities forces him to run from everything he knows. Alone, terrified and unable to remember the events that compelled him to flee, Landon fights to survive and understand what’s happening to him. He finds solace, however, in the company of hundreds of psychokinetics like him when he’s brought to the Gymnasium.
Forced into a life where people don’t just see – but control – the world around them and teenagers lift city buses with a thought, Landon struggles to accept his new reality and the guilt over his painful secret. But everything changes when a chance encounter with a mysterious girl propels him on a hunt for answers. Uncovering dark truths the Gymnasium would do anything to keep hidden, Landon must choose where his loyalties lie.
Will Landon accept his past – and his future? Will he discover the truth? What’s hidden in the Restricted Tower, and who is Artemis?
Patrick has a longstanding passion for the sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult genres and loves the art of storytelling. Also an avid television and cinema buff, he takes his knowledge and understanding of the film industry and uses that to create a vibrant literary world in which the reader can immerse.
He currently lives in Denver, Colo. with his two cats, Stirling and Dublin.
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