Author Q’s: What books inspired you?

Interviewed by Donna Campbell Smith for the Grey Area News, here is a Q and A.

This marks the forth in a series of blog posts of interview questions I have enjoyed.  Last time we talked about Worldbuilding.  This time we’re on to, inspiring books?

Q) What books inspired you in your writing?

A) I am most inspired over my lifetime by Isaac Asimov’s masterwork, the “Robot’s through Foundation” series. I will let readers go discover why this earned him the only Hugo Award ever given for lifetime achievement. It is just that good. The headline though is, he wrote around 2 dozen books into the epic saga of the future history of mankind, spanning 25,000 years. Over the course of 50+ years of his life, Asimov wrote these out of order, out of sequence, out of chronology, and as society and technology evolved, changing the genre he cemented. Some tend to think of George Lucas’s Star Wars series of films as foundational to modern scifi. Asimov had Lucas beat by two generations.

I read so many by Bradbury and Heinlein I can’t name any individuals, but rather, their body of works. Bester’s “The Stars, My Destination” which sits next to my bed to this day. Phillip K. Dick’s “Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep” which I read well before it became a movie adaptation. Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm.” All of CS Lewis’ writing. Michener’s Centennial and Texas.

My first great encouragement in writing came at age 17 in Mrs. Burdge’s Honors English class. I connected Steinbeck’s Joad “fambly” in Grapes of Wrath with characters from (another great American novel), won a prize, and was published in the county literary magazine. The fact I only got a C in this college level course was discouraging, however.

I will say, if any books inspired me in the contrarian sense, it is Douglas Adam’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Being a lifelong Christian, I had to take this book and movie with a star-freighter full of salt-grains to finish it, salvage, and enjoy what I can. It inspires me in the sense of, “one day when I write my books I won’t do that.” Meaning, to not intentionally mock faith as Adams overtly set out to do. I have a similar reaction to some themes and quotes from Gene Roddenberry RE. his Star Trek series’.

I don’t want to say Utopian, but I have created a more benign and benevolent fictional church for my Galactic sectors, as a basis for the main character’s objective moral systems. Other regions will use different systems. I don’t have one homogenous galaxy. That would be entirely too easy on the author’s brain and schedule.

It is a lot of work but all these decisions flow logically out of the original one, to write of a future where the faith survives in a positive role in man’s society. Definitely, all of that was inspired directly from reading “Hitchhiker’s” decades ago.


That is the last of the interview questions from Donna Campbell Smith of Grey Area news.

The full Grey Area News: article.

Next time we will get into “What inspires you to write?

Read Ceres 2525: here.

Ceres’ worlds grow on his own: Wikia.

Micheal Lee Nelson’s: Website.

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