A lot of my readers have described my writing as exceptionally visual, almost to the point that it feels like they are watching a scene play out before their very eyes. A lot of my success comes to practice, but it also stems from visual inspirations that help me sharpen a scenery or visual characteristics of the main characters. So without further ado, here are the top five television shows that have inspired my writings for the books published so far (and upcoming ones in the near future).
1. The Alienist
The corona-virus pandemic in the year 2020 meant that a lot more people were binge watching shows on Netflix, myself included. Although most of my time was spent watching historical and philosophical documentaries, it also meant that I could find time to watch some period dramas as well.
Although I did not make it through the first season of this show, I was still able to appreciate the visual aspects of it. A lover of films and television shows set during the nineteenth century, The Alienist, was no exception to the media that normally peaked my interest.
A long time fan of the actor Luke Evans, it was to my delight that he played a deeply sensitive and emphatic visual artist that depicted crime scenes for the local police. I was struck by the vulnerability of the character, the sheer emotion expressed by his eyes and subtle facial expressions. Luke Evans character, John Moore, became the main inspiration for me when I was writing my historical novel 'Awakening.' Visually speaking, I tried to closely align the character Elliot Summers to the one depicted in the Netflix television show The Alienist. There is also an attempt to capture the empathy and good, noble-like nature that John Moore possess in the show. Although I eventually lost interest in the The Alienist by the end of season one, it still made a major impact on my writing style and the manner of me approaching the reserved banker, Mr. Elliot Summer.
Netflix also blessed me with the crime drama, Broadchurch, a couple of years back. Always a fan of David Tennant (I blame Doctor Who) there was no hesitation to check out this show online. Let me tell you that it is well worth a watch! You will not expect the plot-twist at the end of season one. Needless to say, I managed to binge watch the entire season to my delight.
The main inspiration I took from this crime drama is the scenery. Against the back drop of the crime scene and awful litigation we get to see golden sand, the sky-blue sea and towering cliffs. When crafting 'The Tragic Tale of Teddy Woven' I took a lot of inspiration from this television show. The predominant location for this show is in Dorset, England. The idealistic scenery has persuaded me to visit the sea-side town one day with my own eyes. Ideally, Teddy Woven's home would be at the top of the cliff to overlook the changing tide and to breathe in the freshness of the air at any given moment. Such a romantic back-drop can hide the true terrors that lurk inside his home, but that is for the audience and poor Sela to figure out.
3. Peaky Blinders
Another Netflix series listed as one of my inspirations for writing is the classic television show, Peaky Blinders. Set in the 1920's, Birmingham is run by gangsters that desire to run the city with drugs, violence and sex. The leader of the gang is a Mr. Thomas Shelby, and he will stop at nothing to obtain power and wealth.
A lot of the book reviews so far have referenced this television show, citing there is a strong resemblance between the two. Personally, I don't see such resemblance in 'Awakening' but I do see it in the 'Far from Home' series. I believe you will see some ties to the television show in 'Far from Home: Book Two' when the readers are introduced to travelling Gypsies in Ireland and the powerful forces Mr. Aodhan McVeigh wields in his home country as he sinks his teeth into the drug wars and criminal violence. McVeigh goes by the nickname the "Bloody Hand" for a reason, and no one can expect the great lengths of violence and intimidation he will do to get what his heart truly desires.
Two characters from the Peaky Blinders inspired my writing for the 'Far from Home' series. The first is Mr. Thomas Shelby, a prominent leader of a gang with ruthless ambitious and need for control. The second is Mr. Aberama Gold, a traveller that wants to hold onto his traditional ways as a traveller, but also see's an advantage in aligning himself with powerful men to receive monetary gain and a better way of life. Undoubtedly, you will see some inspiration in the later adaptions of 'Far from Home' when they debut in the year 2022 and 2023.
4. Sherlock Holmes
Anyone a Sherlockian? If so, I highly recommend this classic rendition of Sherlock Holmes tales, which is starred by the loveable Jeremy Brett and David Burke. I read the books during my undergrad, and about a year later stumbled upon this television series on YouTube. It was an easy addiction, and a show I still refer to when writing mysteries.
'Far from Home: Book One' was strongly influenced by the character Sherlock Holmes and his mysterious. Although, the main character, Detective Jessie Varon, is not as clever as Sherlock Holmes, readers can still see a likeness to famous detective that resides in 221B Baker Street.
Detective Varon is an outsider, not belonging to the other English detectives that are at the top of the game. As an immigrant born into poverty and slowly making his way up the ranks, it is clear that he has to prove himself to his superiors. Detective Varon is faced with a difficult task to uncover the mystery surrounding Victoria Reeds in book one of 'Far from Home." His sidekick, Wells, adds some comedic effect as they work through this mystery together, showcasing their ardent affection for one another as they tackle the difficult task of locating the illusive 'Bloody Hand' otherwise known as Mr. McVeigh in the slums of London.
If you are a fan of a good old fashioned mystery, or a lover of Sherlock Holmes, I can assure you that you will fall in love with the 'Far from Home' book series.
5. Penny Dreadful
Are you a fan of Gothic horror? Do you love haunted castles? Eerie ghosts, vampires, or other ghoulish creatures that stalk the night? I have the perfect television show for you called "Penny Dreadful" that will wet your appetite for all things dark and disastrous.
I recently discovered this show after a dear friend's recommendation. She knew that I had a thing for Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray," and kindly recommended this show that had a spin-off for this elusive character. So, not only was I exposed to electrifying charms of Dorian Gray, I also was able to witness Bram Stoker's "Dracula" come to life and Shelly's "Frankenstein."
When writing the short fantasy novella "Far from Home: Book Three" you can see a major inspiration from this television show. The third part to this series veers away from mystery and instead focuses on the orgins of Aodhan McVeigh. The readers are able to uncover the secrets of his past, and more importantly the new desire that drills away into his heart. The life of a vampire is never easy, not easy for McVeigh. As he ventures through the dark parts of London City in the early years of World War One, the audience gets to see the gradual transformation of this character as he has lived long beyond his time. A man of centuries ago, it will be difficult for him to fit into modern society, especially since the lifestyle of men and women are dramatically changing as the English wage war against the Germans. The third part to this story still retains its natural darkness, many unsuspecting victims are taken by McVeigh as he feasts on their blood, but he is also in the process of recruiting another to be just like him, and that can spell danger for mankind as a whole.