Since my book was published I am often asked about where I got my ideas. Initially it was difficult to give people a concise answer. Tik Robin is a narrative pieced together of various short stories and character profiles that formed in my imagination over a number of years. The quite common wild creatures that appear all around us, most of the time (whether we notice them or not) were slowly anthropomorphised into the characters that embark on epic adventures in my fantasy/speculative fiction novel. Just like they do in classics like Watership Down and Wind in the Willows.
This is the general answer, and it is quite true. The story is driven by the events and characters living within the Six Settlements and the surrounding lawless lands. However, when reading the book many fantasy fans will notice ‘nods’ to some of the greatest fantasy fiction ever written, but not just the books – the film versions too. What is curious is that most of these ‘nods’ were not written with a conscious reference to the classics but are a clear sign of the influence these great works of fiction have had on me. They have stuck with me – deep in the creative recesses of my divergent mind.
There is little point in me referring to the events in the book that unconsciously pay homage to some of the greats, I’ll leave that delight for readers of the book. I myself have only noticed them after numerous proof-reads. The realisation of these ‘nods’ actually brings me comfort and helps me understand how my love for great fantasy fiction has inspired me to write something which lives within this special genre. It humbles me to think that if I’m lucky enough and my readership continues to grow – and perhaps the Tik Robin series can one day become an adapted film version of its own – then my story could possibly inspire at least one young writer somewhere in the world to turn their short stories and imagined characters into a new world and a narrative of their own. That is a thought that makes this sometimes arduous author’s journey worth every single second. So my advice to anyone thinking about a book submission or flirting with the idea of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard is to simply do it. Create your world, share your world and you never know – you might at the very least inspire a new fantasy/speculative fiction classic.