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From March 14 to March 27, 2008, Simon & Schuster is launching our first annual Pulse Blogfest -- a two-week event where more than 120 of our top teen authors and all of their fans will come together to share ideas on one single blog. Before posting your own comments author's entries, check out how the event works!

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Holly Black on how other books inspire me

Mike asks “How have the books you’ve read inspired the books you’ve written, if at all?”

I think that all books are in conversation with each other. My books about faeries are absolutely in conversation with the Bordertown-era urban fantasy written by authors I very much admire (Terri Windling, Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, etc). Reading those books was like being slapped awake. I realized suddenly that it was possible to write fantasy in a contemporary setting that wasn’t about some modern kid getting sucked through a mirror or a cave and waking up in some wacky world. Something that was here and now and seemed so real that if I just looked out of the corner of my eye, I might see what they were describing.

And even the way I write is learned in part from the authors that I read over and over again, like Tanith Lee and Michael Moorcock, when I was a young writer. I can see their influences more strongly on my earlier fiction, but occasionally I can still detect the stamp of my admiration in a line I write. It’s just there.

Books continue to inspire me, too. A great book makes me want to be better, helps me think about writing differently, and reminds me of the pleasures of reading.

Holly Black is the author of such novels as IRONSIDE as well as the coauthor of the SPIDERWICK series. Visit her author page for more information.

One Response to “Holly Black on how other books inspire me”

  1. Sarrin Says:

    Books in conversation with each other - that seems very true. And I also agree that urban fantasy is somehow much more exciting than high fantasy in some ways. It is much more escapism when you’re escaping to your own world. My favorite thing about faery urban fantasy is that when I was little I used to imagine (and believe, too, half of the time) that faeries lived in my house and around it, and now I get to do the same, on a grander, larger, more-teenager-suited scale.

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