The Eddings Effect
Just before my 13th birthday my parents moved house, which involved me changing schools. The new school was bigger than my previous and had two advantages – the first being it was mixed sex, and the second being the student-run library. I signed up to be a library almost immediately. I got a shiny badge and access to a roomful of books. If heaven’s not like that, then I don’t want in.
My librarian duties meant spending my lunch hour tidying and organising books, after which I could do whatever. I usually sat down in a corner with my packed lunch and a Sweet Valley High story. I could polish off both in about half an hour. I read everything in that library, but what I loved more than anything else was The Belgariad series by David Eddings.
Many, many years on and I still love the fantastic world Eddings created. Somewhere in my house is the book he wrote about doing that, which contains advice to aspiring authors. I bought it because I wanted to write something as epic, with princesses and knights and dragons. The first fiction I wrote, at about 15 was about a princess. I never finished that novel, never mind a stack of them.
Though I’m perfectly happy being a science fiction author now, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am had I not read The Belgariad and its sequel series The Mallorean. That desire to write something as epic, as in the vein of Tolkien only with less death, is the bedrock of who I am as an author.