Category Archives: Author’s influence

interview diane morrison

Interview with Diane Morrison

Hi there Wottareaders! here’s my interview with Diane Morrison, let’s get to know her better! also don’t miss her new book A Few Good Elves.

What can you tell us about you?

I hate “tell us about yourself” questions, which I suppose tells you something… I’m an introvert who’s good at pretending I’m an extrovert. I’m a Twitch streamer and podcaster as well as a writer, and I moonlight as a filk singer from time to time. I like all things nerdy. I’m an old school RPG player and game master, I’m a space nerd… all that stuff. I’ve been writing since my grade one teacher let me tell stories instead of doing a daily journal. I just became a member of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, who are the folks who give out the Nebula awards. I have three cats, two of which were strays adopted by our old rescue amputee kitty. And I have two life partners, a soldier and a sailor.

One book, one song, and one videogame?

Book: Watership Down by Richard Adams (seriously underrated, and you get something different out of it every time – I read it every ten years to take stock of my life).

Song: Reignite by Malukah

Videogame: I haven’t played videogames in many years because I spend too much time writing and I suck at them, although I like watching the cutscene movies on YouTube. I’ll say Star Wars: The Old Republic, since that was the last one I played regularly.

If you had to define yourself just using one sentence of your novels, which one would be?

“She squared her shoulders.” – If I’m defined by anything in my life, it’s my determination to conquer the challenges I face, no matter the odds or the pain.

Do you have any rituals for writing? Any kind of habit or goal to achieve every day?

Just to do some. Life can be chaotic, and you never know what it will bring you, so I take it as it comes. I think a lot of writers worry too much about daily word counts. NaNoWriMo is the only time that should matter. If you keep writing, eventually the book gets written.

Do you take real people you know and put them in your stories?

Nah, that wouldn’t be fair. I can be scathing in my critiques.

Let’s talk about procrastination, what is the most absurd thing you’ve been doing when you should be writing?

Played Marbles on Stream, an amazingly pointless, time-wasting game that is somehow fun anyway.

Tell us about your book, A Few Good Elves, what do you think is the most interesting aspect of it?

Imagine all the tropes of space opera science fiction: star empires, spaceships, aliens, ship battles… only imagine that all of it is done with magic and Age of Sail technology. Imagine all the tropes of high fantasy: epic military battles, elves vs. orcs, mages slinging spells at once another… only imagine it’s all in space. It’s also a war story, but it’s about the people rather than the action (although there’s no shortage of that.) I think it manages to straddle this seemingly contradictory balance, too.

What are you writing right now?

I’m in the final edits for book 2 of the Toy Soldier Saga, To Know Your Enemy; and I’m doing a rewrite of book 3, working title Brothers in Arms. I’m also working on some short stories for magazine submissions.

Hope you enjoyed this interview! Also, if you like fantasy here you have all The Dwarves books in order, a high fantasy story narrating the story of a dwarf that was raised by humans.

Game of Thrones wallpaper

What if George RR Martin dies before he finishes Game of Thrones?

if you are a fan of Got, you can´t help but ask will George RR Martin finish Game of Thrones. Now that Game of Thrones season 8 (the latest one) is over and there are still no publishing dates for the two remaining books in the series fans have started making questions.  some even wonder what if George RR Martin dies before he finishes Game of Thrones, truth is, it’s not the first bestselling series that has been left incomplete because the author passed away before finishing it.

But before, so far we know that George RR Martin’s health is quite good, and we wish him a long healthy life. That is the most important thing. About the question, when George RR Martin finish the books, that is quite a difficult question to answer, but we will try to do so.

Will George R.R Martin finish Game of Thrones?

Yes, George R.R Martin will finish Game of Thrones, he said recently on an interview that he was focusing on the next book in the series, Winds of Winter. So he’s working on it, and since the last Season of the tv series adaptation is already filmed, there are not that many distractions for him anymore.

The most pessimist wonder if he will finish the books since they consider him a bit old, he is 70 years old by the way. Given that the publishing gap between the latest novels has only been increased during the latest publications (as you already will know if you read This is why you shouldn’t read Game of Thrones) some think the last book might not be published in time. But let’s only wish George R.R Martin good health and long healthy life.

Even so, let’s face the horrible question:

What if George RR Martin dies before he finishes Game of Thrones?(ASOIAF)?

Again, let’s hope this doesn’t happen. Not even because of we as fans want to read how his masterpiece ends, but first things first, he’s a human after all and deserves all the respect. However, if we face the worst scenario and he wasn’t able to finish his work this is what would happen.


George R.R Martin has lots of notes and has told the ending of his story to key individuals, therefore, making sure his work will be finished by another writer.

Has any fantasy writer died before ending his/her book saga?

Unfortunately yes, it has happened. Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time series (which by the way is going to have a Wheel of Time tv series  soon), sadly passed away before his work was finished. He died because of his heart condition, which he was aware of. Because of this, Robert Jordan was cautious and wrote as many notes as he could so in case he died other author finished his most notorious work. Sadly, his worse fears became true and he died before he could write the last book of the series.

It was another author, Brandon Sanderson (who I have introduced in previous articles: Introducing Mistborn or Skyward), who being a fan of The Wheel of Time took all the notes of Robert Jordan and finished the saga. There were so many notes that Brandon Sanderson stated there was too much information to put into a single book, as a result of those notes three books were published.

Would Brandon Sanderson finish writing Game of Thrones?

Seemingly not. Brandon Sanderson posted on Reddit that in case he was offered to finish A Song of Ice and Fire he would decline. And here is a small excerpt of his reasoning:

“But the point is moot, as I wouldn’t say yes to finishing ASOIAF, if asked. (And I don’t think they’d ask me.) I’d respectfully decline. I wouldn’t be right for the job for many reasons, I wouldn’t want to put in the content that the series has, and part of that is due to my religious faith, part of it is just who I am. I don’t shy away from difficult material, but I prefer not to get explicit. Honestly, when I read it in George’s work, I often just cringe. I don’t think it fits in prose; I think it looks tacky. But that’s almost 100% due to the my religious leanings. I realize that others don’t read such scenes in the same way as I do.

However, I’d suggest that this is actually a minor reason why I’d be a bad writer on this series, despite having enormous respect for GRRM and his talent as a storyteller.”

Pretty understandable, don’t you think?
You can read the entire response on Reddit, see here. he posts using Mistborn as his nickname.

Game of Thrones ending book vs tv series

Also, and this might come as a surprise for some, George R.R Martin admitted the ASOIF ending wouldn’t be too different to the one in HBO’s tv adaptation. So, in a way, there will be an ending one way or another.

If that was not enough, let’s not forget the rummaging, some say that the two remaining books, Dream of Spring and Winds of Winter, are already finished and will be published after the ending of the tv series. This might come as a great surprise, and even though it does not seem to be true, such news would be both shocking and welcome.

Who is George R.R Martin

George Raymond Richard Martin is an American novelist best known for his more than famous saga A Song of Ice and Fire, also known as Game of Thrones because of the successful HBO tv series adaptation name. He is one of the most influential people of the world according to the Time. Aside from his fantasy novels, he has also published works for other genres such as the sci-fi Dying of the light, his first novel, or horror stories as Nightflyers. He has also worked as a Screenwriter which lead him to be involved in Game of Thrones as a co-writer of some of the scripts in this tv series.
Take a look at this article: books like Game of Thrones.

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LOTR wallpaper Lord of the rings

This is how Tolkien influenced the Fantasy genre


“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Probably, the first words that introduced most of us into J.R.R Tolkien’s work. That is, as you know for sure, the first sentence of The Hobbit. The Lord of The Rings has not only defined the High Fantasy genre, or literature, Tolkien’s work has influenced Popular Culture itself.

No need to wonder why LOTR movie adaptations had such an impressive grossing after all, being one of the most popular and best selling series of all time (just check the 5 best selling fantasy novels of all time). If that was not enough, a film about Tolkien’s life will be released this very same year and let’s not forget Amazon’s LOTR tv adaptation (see here).

Who is J.R.R Tolkien?

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer, best known for his fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Poet, academic and one of the main reasons the Fantasy is the way that it is nowadays. He became a legend being alive, he died in 1973, as it could be no other way: 1 ring for Sauron, 9 for Men 7, for Dwarves, 3 for Elves. Epic.

For those who want to know more about J.R.R Tolkien, an upcoming biographical film directed by Dome Karukowsky will be released on May 10, 2019, casting Nicholas Hoult as J. R. R. Tolkien. Also, his latest novel, The Fall of Gondolin, was posthumously published as a stand-alone novel, check it here.

If you want to know if you would be an orc, an elf or another race in Lotr, just check this: Which race would you be in the Lord of The Rings world?

How Tolkien changed fantasy

We can’t say that Tolkien created the fantasy genre, such an honor must be granted to George MacDonald. But we can assure that Tolkien is the father of modern fantasy. It was his novel, The Lord of The Rings, that changed the fantasy genre and became as we know it. Also, it had one of the most iconic items in the Fantasy genre.

Tolkien is the father of the high fantasy genre, which main characteristics are having a hero ( or a character that will eventually become a hero)  as the main character and setting the story in a fictional world. High fantasy stories usually narrate how the main character grows, leans and eventually defeats the evil forces. He was an author that was ahead of his time, and therefore he set the basic rules of the modern fantasy genre.

As you will have noticed, such characteristics are more than discernible in Tolkien’s main work. Both The Hobbit and Lord of The Ring’s tell the story of a hobbit, Bilbo and Frodo respectively, who will experience a journey until they defeat the forces of evil. The Lord of The Rings was published in 1954, and since then tons of writers have been inspired and written their own high Fantasy works.

Other high fantasy novels

Other examples of high fantasy series are A Song of Ice and Fire, The Kingkiller Chronicle, Mistborn or Discworld. As you will have noticed, all these novels are defined by the same structure having a hero (or heroes) who defeat the evil forces. Yes, even Rincewind(Discworld) meets those standards.

Also, Tolkien set such a world full of creative fantasy creatures that somehow became like the standard world of fantasy. That is, even though Tolkien didn’t create orcs or elves, it is actually his reworked version which stands as the archetypic idea of how such creatures would look and behave. Just think about every modern fantasy story you know, orcs and elves will for sure be stereotyped the way Tolkien depicted such races. Speaking of races, here is a post about racism in literature.

How the author “Tolkienized” fantasy

In this sense, the author Brandon Sanderson (writer of Mistborn or Skyward among other novels) posted on his blog how Tolkien, being ahead of his time, set the pillars of modern fantasy. Having the rest of the writers to “copy” his universe:

But they (other writers) didn’t do what Tolkien did. They didn’t create a new world, with its own mythology, its own society, its own technology, its own races and creatures. This wasn’t their fault—they just weren’t ready to jump to that level. So instead they applied their considerable creativity toward copying Tolkien. Instead of creating true high fantasy, everyone created more low fantasy—but they used Tolkien’s world as a base instead of our own. The result was a kind of tainting of the entire genre, a ‘Tolkienizing.’ Fantasy didn’t mean ‘the genre where the author creates his or her own unique setting.’ It meant ‘the genre where the books include elves, dwarfs, wizards, and quests.’

Authors inspired by J.R.R Tolkien

Virtually any fantasy writer since the 60s has been, them being aware or not, inspired by Tolkien’s work. As stated before, The Lord of The Rings just made the fantasy genre evolve. Here are some notorious authors who have stated they have been inspired by Tolkien:

“I revere Lord of the Rings, I reread it every few years, it had an enormous effect on me as a kid. In some sense, when I started this saga I was replying to Tolkien, but even more to his modern imitators.” George R.R Martin.

“Now it might seem like I’m picking on Tolkien a little bit here. But again I say: I mock because I love. I grew up reading Tolkien, and I mean that quite literally. I read the lord of the rings at least once a year through all my teenage years.

To his credit, Tolkien gave us one of the best traditions of our genre, that of elaborate, realistic worldbuilding.” Patrick Rothfuss.

Tolkien’s influence in culture

This author’s work influenced pop culture itself, here are some examples of how Tolkien influenced culture:

Games and video games

Dungeons and Dragons

The distinguished RPG table board Dungeons and Dragons was widely influenced by Tolkien’s work. As you know in this board game every player controls a fantasy character set in a medieval world full of orcs, elves, and magical creatures. The influence of LOTR in this game was so that Tolkien enterprises made the creators change the names of some of the creatures included in this board game such as The Hobbits (changed to Halflings) or Ents (to Treants) due to copyright reasons.

Funnily, this D&D influenced other fantasy series such as The Legend of Drizzt or Dragonlance.


Warcraft is a videogame series developed by Blizzard. In the first videogame of this franchise, Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans, where these races are portrayed the way Tolkien had set them. In its following sequels, new races are added such as Elves or Dwarfs.


Warhammer is a popular medieval fantasy board game played with miniature models. Different armies exist in this universe such as Orcs, Elves, Dwarfs, Demons and of course humans.

What Tolkien book should I start with?

If you don’t know how to start reading Tolkien’s work, here is a basic reading order:

  • The Hobbit.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • The Two Towers.
  • The Return of the King.

These novels are the must-read. In case you want to read more, you can read The Silmarillion but be warned it’s a bit more of an advanced lecture.

Are J.R.R Tolkien stories public domain?

No, Tolkien’s stories have not entered public domain yet. Since his work was published in 1973, that means his work won’t enter the public domain until 2060.

Hope you enjoyed this article and learned more about how this writer defined the Fantasy Genre as it is known these days.

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Lovecraft influence

The influence of H.P Lovecraft in Terror

H.P Lovecraft’s work stands for the dark, the forbidden, the obscurantism. A fear of the unknown. Some of his work was inspired by his own nightmares. And now, it’s his stories that provoke us nightmares. He is, no doubt, a major figure in the supernatural Horror genre. This is “The influence of H.P Lovecraft in Terror”.

A master in telling but not showing, he wouldn’t show the horrific creature,  but instead, he would tell you how the main character reacted. Breaking one of the most sacred rules for writers, the “don’t show but tell”, by this formula he in fact caused terror, way more than if he had described the horror itself.  Are you ready for some Lovecraftian horror?

Who is H.P Lovecraft       

Howard Philipp Lovecraft was an American author born in providence Writer of horror fiction, his work went unnoticed during his lifetime. Now, however, he is considered one of the best horror authors of all time along with Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe. The later was one of H.P Lovecraft’s biggest influences.

All HP Lovecraft have the same premise, humanity is irrelevant and insignificant, as the author explained during an interview for Weird tales:

“Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form—and the local human passions and conditions and standards—are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes.”

For those wondering why is HP Lovecraft so popular, the Cthulhu Mythos is the short answer you are looking for.

What is the Cthulhu Mythos

The Cthulhu Mythos is the interconnected universe created by H.P Lovecraft on which all his horror novels take place. A name deriving from one of his most notable works, The Call of Cthulhu.

In this fictional universe, Lovecraft imprints his Cosmicism philosophy. The basic principle of the Cosmicism is that humans are insignificant in the large intergalactic existence and that there is no recognizable presence such as a god. Instead, this philosophy suggests that the universe is a complex

This explains why in the Cthulhu Mythos humanity coexists, despite being unaware, with the Great Old ones, ancient and powerful deities from space who once ruled the earth until they eventually fell into a state of hibernation. Some of these deities inhabiting in the Earth and somehow imprisoned, as is the case for Cthulhu who is imprisoned underwater in the city of R’lyeh. These deities are often worshipped by dark and secret cults. In short, the Great Ones are the gods created by HP Lovecraft.

The influence of HP Lovecraft

HP Lovecraft not only has influenced several generations of writers, he also changed the established visión of the horror genre. This is why another one of the greatest horror authors ever. Stephen King told in his book, Danse Macabre (where the author narrates his various influences) that Lovecraft was responsible for his own fascination with horror and the macabre and was the largest figure to influence his fiction writing. If you like horror movies, check this article about the upcoming movie Pet Sematary!


The horror summoned by H.P Lovecraft has transcended the world of literature. Several videogame titles are based on this author’s mythos. This is, of course, related to the copyright of his work, which is considered public domain.  Let’s see some examples:


One of the most significant examples is Bloodborne. an Action RPG developed by From Software.  You might have heard of this company since they are the creators of the Dark Souls series.T his game takes place in Yarham, a city depicted as a mixture of the Victorian Era and the gothic architecture with the slight touch of the H.P Lovecraft’s lore. A world that is controlled by the Great Ones (yes, even the same name as in H.P Lovecraft’s mythos). These are god like creatures with incredible power who exist in different planes of existence. The influence of H.P Lovecraft’s work reflects on different aspects of this videogame. This shows in the creatures, the scenarios and even that constant feeling of uneasiness are heavily inspired by the Lovecraftian horror.

The Sinking City

Another game inspired by this author is the Sinking City, a mystery horror videogame which will be released on March 21, 2019. This videogame will be available for the following platforms PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One. Seems like, as happened with Metro Exodus, the game won’t be able for Nintendo switch.

In this videogame trailer, you will see several references to the Call of Cthulhu and the Cthulhu Mythos in general.

The Call of Cthulhu

The video game title already tells us how much this game is inspired by H.P Lovecraft’s short story. A survival horror developed by Cyanide Studio which is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The videogame is available since 2018.


There is not yet a complete adaptation of Lovecraft ’s horror stories but even so, there have been diverse attempts. However, seems like only independent filmmakers are trying their adaptation of H.P Lovecraft’s stories. Some of the most recent are The Whisperer in Darkness (released in 2011), The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu (2009) or Cthulhu (2007).

You might be wondering why there are no Lovecraft movies? That is, how come there are no high budget productions after such stories? The reason is, probably, that Lovecraft stories are about the atmosphere you create in your imagination.  These stories would be fairly difficult to be adapted in a film format.

Are H.P Lovecraft stories public domain?

Even though there has been some controversy regarding the copyright of Lovecraft’s Works the answer is: Yes.  Lovecraft’s books effectively entered the public domain.

This is why there are several videogames, films, board games and novels using the Cthulhu Mythos names and characters freely. The author always encouraged other authors to borrow ideas from his mythos, and so, several writers have contributed enrichening the Cthulhu Mythos.

Since it is public domain you can download his stories for free on the Internet. If you want to know some useful websites for downloading books, just click read online free websites.

What Lovecraft book should I start with?

If you are wondering how to read these horror novels, here is my small “how to start” guide for HP Lovecraft horror books:

  • The Dunwich Horror
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Dreams in the Witch House

These four novels will provide you a great insight of H.P Lovecraft’s work. Of course, these are not all the novels by this author. These are the ones I consider you should read first. In the future, I will make a How to read article, where you w know the proper reading order.

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