The Top Ten Writers That Influence My Work
By K.C. Finn
K.C. Finn is currently part-way into her six-part Synsk series at Clean Teen Publishing: a series of paranormal historical novels set at various points in British history from 1939 to the present day. Her other novels include themes such as time-travel, urban fantasy, science fiction, crime and horror.
#10 – Russell T Davies, OBE
“Russell T Davies is best known to the world as the man who brought back Doctor Who in 2005, but he’s also the writer of such daring and prolific works as The Second Coming and Queer As Folk. I admire Davies’s work because he’s unafraid to push the boundaries of gender and sexuality regardless of the historical or cultural parameters he’s working in. In my own work I always aim to be as diverse as possible and to deviate from the normal expectations of genre wherever I can to provide something fresh and new for readers.”
#9 – Sir Terry Pratchett
“A true eccentric who lives in the worlds in his head much more often than reality, Terry Pratchett is exactly who I hope to be in later life. He presents works of sci-fi and fantasy that always look simple and whimsical at first, but upon closer inspection they are always back-grounded by a serious level of cultural and social knowledge. Pratchett has a real knack for understanding society and pointing out its flaws in a humorous, realistic way despite his work often being set in a world very different to our own. And he’s never afraid to wear a bold statement hat. Respect.”
#8 – J.K. Rowling, OBE
“There are many things to love about the works of J.K. Rowling, but for me the most inspiring thing is the love and affection with which she treats her supporting cast. I am a great believer that a writer should never just rely on that one central character to carry their tale: it’s the ensemble that allows all different types of readers to find a character they can cherish, no matter how small their part is in the grand scheme of things. I always aim to give my side characters their due respect and attention in true Rowling style.”
#7 – Sir J.M. Barrie
“Author of Peter Pan, Mr Barrie brought me my very first literary love. And if you’re thinking that great love was Peter himself, then you don’t know me very well! I adore Captain Hook for his depth of character and the feeling that, had the story been told from his perspective, you might just have ended up on his side after all. Barrie was the first writer to teach me that a villain is only a villain because you call him thus for your audience. As a writer I believe you need to find something to love about the villains you create to make them truly three-dimensional people.”
#6 – Charles Dickens
“I am fanatic about Victorian Britain, and there is no better place to start a love for this subject than with the works of Dickens. I started my journey with this wonderful author when I was about ten years old and have never regretted the hours I spent immersed in the gritty, harsh realities of Victorian life with his characters. When I work on creating a truly historic atmosphere for my books, Dickens always springs to mind as the master of weather, colour and the physical materials around him in a scene. You don’t just read Dickens; you live Dickens when you pick up his work.”
#5 – Jane Austen
“Unlike many readers of Austen, I don’t love her for creating Mr Darcy (Mr Bingley’s my guy all the way in Pride and Prejudice, no question), but for stepping over the boundaries of what was expected from drama and romance in the time that she was writing. Austen was witty and ironic about the society in which she lived, daring to show us a character whose attitude was way ahead of her time in Lizzie Bennett. Presenting characters that are radically different to the norm is something I aspire to do in my own work; for me there is no better example of how to do this well than in the works of Jane Austen.”
#4 – Bram Stoker
“For me at least, there is no greater horror story ever told than Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is a book I have devoured many times over the last fifteen years, one which terrified me as a youngster and intrigues me as an adult. I am taking my sweet time perfecting my own gothic horror works, because I know that Stoker is the impossible standard to which all such things should be compared. If I can create even a tenth of the suspense, terror, depth and atmosphere that Stoker achieved, I will be a very satisfied writer!”
#3 – William Shakespeare
“No list of inspiration would be complete without the great bard himself. I never had to work at loving Shakespeare when I was a child: his words came to me very naturally and filled me with a deep love for twisting narratives, history and beautifully crafted language. There are plenty of people who’ll tell you that dear Will is old hat and overrated. To them I say: You don’t know him like I do. Shakespeare is the true master of human emotion; the only writer I have ever known who can take the most indescribable of feelings and find a way to express them that touches every part of the audience’s soul.”
#2 – Mark Gatiss
“Mark Gatiss is everything I want to be in the world of modern writing. Whilst most people recognise him for his role as Mycroft Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock and as one quarter of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen, Gatiss is also a writer whose words I could drown in quite merrily. The Lucifer Box trilogy showed me that historical fiction, action, romance, crime and LGBT are not separate pigeon-holed genres of fiction: they are parts of a whole which, when combined, produce one of the best modern series I have ever read. Gatiss also writes for Sherlock and Doctor Who amongst many other television series and dramas; the concepts and language in his scripts is so inspiring that sometimes I will genuinely pick up the scripts and start reading them rather than watch the programme itself. Now that’s good writing!”
#1 – Vladimir Nabokov
“I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a writer. I knew I liked to tell stories and that language was a talent of mine, but I only really started to take the idea of being a writer seriously after I read Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’. Before that day, writing seemed like a frivolous thing that you could enjoy in your spare time, but after I finished the most iconic read of my life, I knew that words had the power to do so much more for a person’s own morality, tolerance and understanding of others. I am a socially aware writer in the sense that I like to portray personalities that are not the norm and show readers that characters they don’t expect to fall in love with can truly surprise them. Nabokov’s portrayal of Humbert Humbert is the sole reason for this decision and the spark that led me to study sociology and later sociolinguistics, which constantly influences the way I choose to shape my work. If you do only one thing after reading this list, let it be a google search of this, the greatest writer known to man.”
“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible.”
Read the Synsk Series by K.C. Finn Today!
Book One— The Mind’s Eye— is currently FREE on all platforms.
A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one of the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.
As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time. There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.