Today we have debut author Sarah Harian here to talk to us about the inspiration behind her book, The Wicked We Have Done. Be sure to check back later today for Has, Lou, and MinnChica’s joint review. Take it away, Sarah!
My inspiration for The Wicked We Have Done is a bit all over the place, which kind of explains the state of mind I was in when I wrote it. I knew I wanted the book to be edgy and fast-paced. I wanted the main group of characters to not be either really heroic or villains; I knew that all of them needed to be screwed up in some way. I also knew that I wanted the book to be scary.
Here are three influences that inspired me when writing The Wicked We Have Done.
1. LOST- I have already talked about this show so much when discussing my inspiration. LOST uses the setting of an enigmatic, mystical island as a place (a prison of its own, almost) to trap a bunch of characters who are trying to escape the darkness in their pasts. These characters range from hero to antihero to villain, but they all have one thing in common: they’re running from something. Like LOST, I used nature controlled by a greater force (the government, in this instance) as a setting for my characters to face the crimes of their past. They end up collaborating in order to survive.
2. The Cabin in the Woods- Okay, okay, The Cabin in the Woods is campy, satirical, and hilarious. But specifically, the WTF element of it is out of this world. It’s shocking, gross, and completely unexpected. The characters were technically supposed to be stereotypes, but somehow they were also sincere and multifaceted. They had this awareness about them that not a lot of horror story characters do. While they were being torn apart by their environment, they also tried their hardest to make smart decisions.
3. The Magicians by Lev Grossman- I also talk about this book at an obnoxious amount. My favorite thing about this book is that Grossman used a fantastical universe similar to those already imagined (Hogwarts and Narnia, anyone?) and then reimagined them with characters who were older and liked to drink and screw their way through situations. It is an unapologetic novel about magic and growing up and failing and being a douche. Its humor is dark, the pop culture references are spot on, and the dialogue is witty. In other words, it’s absolutely fantastic.
While these three stories inspired me with The Wicked We Have Done, they also amaze me. They make me think, Wow, if I one day write something half as good as this, I will die a happy woman. And if anything, they helped me create a pretty insane novel.