"Was there a particular book (or television show, or film) that you read (or watched) as a child that inspired you into your current career?"
I sometimes think the key issue is at which stage one's development gets arrested. I liked monsters (and Famous Monsters) as a kid but was never into the classic "guy movies," the war films and Westerns that were basically about groups of boys playing in the backyard, with no gurls allowed. For me the light bulb went on watching Ann-Margret in "Bye Bye Birdie." "Viva Las Vegas" and "Dr. No" were not far behind, and Claudia, Romy and Barbara (Bouchet) were strong favorites. But that opening back-projected image of A-M being massaged by a wind machine was the real thunderbolt. My interest in movies ever since has been as much about sex as anything else. Make of this what you will.
David Chute is a film critic who has written for LA Weekly, Premiere Magazine (both print and online), The Los Angeles Times, Film Comment, and Vanity Fair. In addition to his work as a critic, David has also written press kits for films like THE SHADOW, HARD TARGET, JACKIE BROWN, and IRON MONKEY.
The blue book version of Dungeons & Dragons launched me into the world of games, fantasy, and adventure and swept me through my middle-school and teenage years, right through into adulthood. I don't know if you can call the many varied things I do a career in the traditional sense, but if it hadn't been for that thin, little booklet my friend's mom picked up for Christmas on a blue-light special, I'd have probably wound up in engineering or law instead!
Matt Forbeck has worked full-time on games and fiction since 1989. Projects Matt has worked on have been nominated for 23 Origins Awards and won 12. This includes the Best Roleplaying Game for Deadlands and The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game, Best Miniatures Rules for Warzone and The Great Rail Wars, Best Roleplaying Adventure for Independence Day, Best Fantasy Board Game for Genestealer, and Best Short Story for “Prometheus Unwound” from The Book of All Flesh.
Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. It really wasn't very funny, or coherent, no plot and it looked cheap. It was inspirational because I thought "Shit, I could do that!"
Dale Launer is writer and director of motion pictures. His movie-biz break came after the producing team of Lancaster/Wagner optioned his screenplay of RUTHLESS PEOPLE. It was produced and released in 1986. This was followed by BLIND DATE, for which Launer neither takes blame nor credit since it was heavily re-written. Launer followed this effort by optioning the rights to the film BEDTIME STORY, which was re-written and re-titled to DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS (which he also produced). He also wrote and directed LOVE POTION #9, which was followed by MY COUSIN VINNY, which he wrote and produced.
He is currently finishing up TOM'S NU HEAVEN, a movie he made very, very independently.
Richard Scott Nokes
I think I was more influenced by people and events then by a single book, mostly because I was such a bookworm it would have taken a lot for one book to influence me over all the others.
Even though it's a cliche, The Lord of the Rings was probably the most influential book. As a child I really identified strongly with Sam, and liked to imagine when I grew older I would construct an underground hobbit hole and live in it. Even though I've grown up to have a career as more than of wizard than a hobbit, that book created my initial interest in the medieval.
Richard Scott Nokes is a professor of medieval literature at Troy University. Dr. Nokes enjoys reading, film, and all things medieval. He is interested in looking at representations of the medieval in modern culture, a phenomenon he calls Popular Medievalism.
Star Trek. (The original one; my third crush was on Spock. My first crush was on a parrot keeper in Florida, and my second crush was on Don Rickles. Yeah, I'm weird. That's why I write science fiction.)
Susan Palwick is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author who holds a doctoral degree from Yale. She currently teaches as an associate professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the author of three novels (FLYING IN PLACE, THE NECESSARY BEGGAR, and SHELTER) and a collection of short stories entitled (THE FATE OF MICE). She is currently working on her fourth novel, DRIVING TO NOVEMBER, which is historical fantasy set in central Nevada. Her fiction often centers on concepts of identity, belonging, and sense of place.
How about you Cinerati readers out there? What do you have to say?