Over the next week we'll be featuring some blog posts with our authors' thoughts on fathers, both real and fictional, in honor of Father's Day.
For our first feature, we're discussing our favorite fictional fathers in books they read. In our second, we're asking them about fathers they wrote. For our third and final feature, we asked authors to tell us how their fathers influenced their lives and their writing.
Dad was fond of telling us stories he made up as well as reading books to us as kids. And now I tell my own made up stories in the form of books. I will never be able to match Dad's amazing, punny wit. But I at least inherited a small amount of his quick sense of humor to include amazing and cheesy puns in some of my books!
A. J. Bakke
One of my earliest memories of my own father was him using a biro to go over poems I had written in pencil, so that they wouldn't fade and be lost. He wasn't a reader but he made me feel my words were precious and worth preserving and sharing.
I regret that Dad didn't get a chance to read any of my stories--well, at least no any of the publishable ones, not counting what I wrote in school, of course. But I'm sure that his patient style of parenting influenced every father I've written. Well, not the lesson about physical strength above; that was never one of my gifts. But the way the lesson was taught, yes.
I was homeschooled, and my dad was the one who taught me (and my siblings) to read, so I have him to thank for bringing a love of reading and, hence, writing into my life. Even now, although fantasy isn't his favorite genre, he reads my unpublished manuscripts twice, looking for spelling errors and typos, as a means of supporting me. In my opinion, he's the best dad ever!
My Dad is a huge blessing in my life and often finds his way into my stories. Mainly because he lives by faith, day by day, and even when life gets hard, I know that he'll be fighting the good fight. When I write male characters/dads, I always look back to my own Dad. He's strong, goofy, and a fighter. He's also a good teacher -- except when it comes to teaching me to drive. Which is weird, since he used to be a race car driver. I'm not THAT bad of a driver, dad, so stop yelling. Haha!
Not only has my Dad encouraged my writing since I was a little kid, he hasn't stopped now. Even when life has a ton of stresses, he takes time to listen to me ramble. I really like being able to tell him: "You're in my book, dad, and you're a hero in it, too."
My Dad was always my hero as well as a hero to many others, whose lives he saved in Vietnam when he was a chopper pilot. When he was first diagnosed with lung cancer, I knew I would need something to distract me while helping my Mom (first while he fought through two courses of chemo, and when chemo didn't work, so he could die at home on hospice). I dug out an old fantasy which never "worked" even after 3 total rewrites, threw the entire manuscript away except the opening scene, and just as a writing exercise asked the main characters to tell me their story. The story came alive because I allowed it to grow organically from the characters (before, I was forcing a plot upon them). I never intended to publish it, but my critique group urged me to do so. I dedicated Mercy's Prince to the memory of my Dad.
Katy Huth Jones
My daddy has been one of the greatest influences on my life and my writing, and continues to be. I've always loved telling stories and writing, but I was reluctant to choose "writing" as a career path because I worried that it would become something I hated if I "had" to do it. However, my dad — understanding my heart perhaps better than I did at the time — encouraged me with the words, "If you want to be a writer, you should be writing."
At that moment, I wasn't all that confident that I "wanted" to be a writer. But he followed that bit of advice up with a challenge to write 10 pages a day that summer. He said, "I want an adventure tale that I can read out loud to the family each night."
This was an overwhelming proposition, as the longest thing I'd ever written was a 23-page paper in high school and that took me several weeks to write! And I had my first full-time job starting up in a couple of days...
But then he added that he'd pay me a dollar per page and an extra $1,000 if I finished the book before I had to go back to school in the fall.
With a challenge and an incentive like that... who could resist?
It was that summer that I fell in love with writing and discovered that I enjoyed having a deadline, an audience, and yes, even critiques. My father and the rest of my family told me instantly what they liked, didn't like, wanted to see more of, and more! In many respects, they are responsible for the way the story turned out even more than I am!
My dad is still my first reader of anything new I write, and while I do not always implement his advice, many of his ideas resound throughout my stories, and some of my best lines are actually his words.
Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
My father is extremely supportive of me and always has been, but I have to say that Peter Sawfeather is very different from him. Peter is a much more emotional and heart-on-his-sleeve kind of guy. Peter is also a very hands-on kind of parent, the kind of dad that shows a kid how to do everything (if not do it for her). My dad is the kind of dad who explains how something works and then points the right direction. He has come to every show I've been in and read every book or story I've published, and even if he doesn't love it (because he likes crime thrillers and historical fiction, and I write YA urban fantasy) he still tells me all the things he liked rather than putting it down. I love the man immensely.
D. G. Driver
Oh yes, Deyva aside, most of the fathers I write have this special brand of humor that comes directly from my father. It's the sort that makes you wince, sometimes chuckle - but that just encourages him. He's very fond of puns.
Julie C. Gilbert
See my answer to Prompt 2... I had to combine them since they are one and the same answer.
J. Philip Horne
A blog about all things fantasy from the elements we all love to how to write it. Posts are from our very own Fellowship of Fantasy authors.