This is a list of some of the major influences on my novel. if you are a fan of any of these things, chances are you will enjoy HTDC.
5. Dark City/The Matrix
I’m listing both these films as one because they share a similar core concept and similar themes (they even shared movie sets! Look out for the staircase with a checkered floor in both films.) I loved the idea of manipulated/fabricated memories, of enclosed worlds with their own set of rules, and heroes who gain control of that world by giving themselves over to it completely.
4. Coraline (The Novel)
Coraline was the first Neil Gaiman book I ever read. I’m now obsessed with him and won’t be satisfied until I have a Lush bath bomb inspired by me just like he does. I especially liked the way Coraline’s other world goes from paradise to nightmare over the course of this very creepy little book. And the movie was fantastic! I had such high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. Wish I could say the same for others (I’m lookin at you Tim Burton).
Well of course this was going to be in the list. I think every angsty teenager has a band that becomes the soundtrack to their life. When everyone else at school thought Avril Lavigne was the height of edginess, I was feverishly collecting all of Radiohead’s back catalogue. In fact my final assessment for modern history was an elaborate power point presentation on the history of the band. I loved the darkness, the alienation, the beautiful melancholy. It said everything to me that all those shit emo bands were trying to say, but they did it with art and sophistication instead of whining and eyeliner.
2. American McGee’s Alice
I’ve always liked video games, but I’m not particulalry good at them. I tend to panic and squeal when faced with a bad guy, and I shoot at the ceiling, then the floor, then the ceiling again before it’s game over and I throw down the controller in a fit of frightened rage. Therefore, I’ve only ever actually played this game with the god mode cheat on. But that’s because I adored the story of it, and didn’t want to be interrupted by pesky killer card soldiers. Alice took the idea of Coraline, that fantasy worlds can turn into your worst nightmare, and took it one step further. Wonderland represented Alice’s mental state. When she went insane, so did Wonderland. This is the key theme to HTDC – sometimes the worlds we create to escape reality can be more dangerous than the reality we were trying to escape. (This is how Tim Burton’s movie should have been).
The recent sequel wasn’t too bad either.
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
After I saw NGE, I completley re-wrote my story. It starts off like a relatively normal anime with angsty teens fighting freaky monsters in giant robots, but as the story progresses it gets more complicated, more psychological, more fucked up. By the end, the effect is devastating. The creator was struggling with depression at the time, and boy does it show. I wanted to capture that descent into madness, the horror of mental illness. I wanted the reader to be shattered by the end. I don’t know if I achieved that. I don’t know if my creation will do justice to any of these influences. I hope it at least comes a little bit close.