Influences: Narnia

Here’s an interesting post at tor.com: The Story King: How The Chronicles of Narnia Shapes the Worlds We Create

Some of the things I loved about Narnia that I wanted in my books:

I love that Lewis’s kids are largely committed to each other, no matter what happens. Your brother might betray you, but he’s still your brother. Your cousin might be a pill, but you’re not going to abandon him on some desert island. I was tired of reading books where the conflicts centered on kids who aren’t allowed to get along. I wanted to read (and write) kids who loved each other, who had friendships you would cheer for and maybe wish you had something a little more like it. There aren’t angst-ridden teens making dour faces at each other in my books. They love each other. Yes, there are occasional misunderstandings, hard conversations, disagreements about what’s to be done…but at the end of the day they have each other’s back.

This post is by Matt Mikalatos, who, when he began a YA series, found that Narnia was on his mind when it came to shaping the story he wanted to tell.

Certainly the above paragraph about friendship makes me a lot more inclined to check out Mikalatos’ series!

Click through and read the whole post if you’ve got a minute. It’s an interesting look at one author’s perception of how a particular work influenced the deeper themes that became important in his own writing later.

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4 thoughts on “Influences: Narnia”

  1. Ohh, interesting. The Narnia books definitely had a big impact on me as a reader and a writer. About the first thing I remember writing is what we’d call fanfic or fanfix, though neither of those words existed then.

    The description of his books remind me a lot of Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands, which is straight up satire, and a little bit of Foz Meadows’ An Accident of Stars, which is a hard critique of the colonialism and sexism in Lewis’s work. Both of them have their roots in Narnia as well but you could call them portal stories that are all grown up, which also sounds like what Mikalatos is doing. My library has a copy of his first book so I can check it out when I feel I can handle a main character with a terminal illness again.

  2. Tucking away the detail that In Other Lands is satire, for when I’m in the mood for satire. I’ve got it on my TRB pile right now.

  3. Yes, you can tell both those authors loved the Narnia books as kids and were grappling with them as adults.

    Have you read Maria Dahvana Headley’s Magonia? I don’t know if she’s ever said Narnia was an inspiration, but I feel like it could go in the same category, and the main character has a serious illness (which is what made me think of it now).

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