Background, hmm. I was born in Maine, raised in Maine, and have fresh Maine breezes running through all my bloodstreams. I grew up surrounded by woods and trees, and all their wonderful, mysterious, earthy influence. I have loved reading my whole life, and have wanted to be an author since I was about four or five. I grew up in a very conservative household, and went to a private Christain school from pre-K to when I gratuated. There was a long stretch in between where I was mainly homeschooled but took classes up at the "real" school, starting from twice a week, and then accumulating until I was basically going there full time. I was there all the time anyway, and I loved being there so much that I finally went back in the 11th grade and stayed there. I love my school, I love the classmates that I gratuated with, and I love all the friends I made all the long years I was there. One particular teacher I had, known as Mr. H, was a huge influence on my writing. I had him 6th through 8th, but only for a few classes, since, like I said, I was mostly homeschooled during that time. But I started doing these little, one-page stories once a week for spelling class in the 7th grade. He gave me really good, positive feedback on them, and it just encouraged me. When 8th grade hit, I was ready to write a novel. I had been starting books my whole life, but never really going anywhere with them. It would always end at either the first or third chapter, and each chapter would be so short and all the spelling would be atrocious, and on and on. But at fourteen, I thought to myself, "Okay, I'm ready. It's time to get my act together and really do this." So I wrote The Island of Lote. Well, at least the first draft of it. It would change a lot as time went on. But that's how it started.
My major influences? So many, and they're all major, in my opinion. First of all, God and my king Jesus, because I trust in Him and know how I should live my life and what I have to look forward to in the future without fear. I would NOT be where I am today with out God, and I thank Him everyday. Creative influences range from video games to rap music to artwork, and of course books and films. Really, anything that is story oriented, since stories are my thing. I've observed over the years how I've gravitated to things that help further and nurture that love of storytelling myself, as well as love of words and using words in clever, unusual, innovative ways. For instance, I love Nintendo. I am a gigantic Nintendo fan, instead of another game console, like X-box or PlayStation. Don't get me wrong, I respect them and really like certain games they have developed, but something about Nintendo just draws me in. But not the racing games, or the sports games, or the shooting games, no the games like Zelda and Mario. The ones with a storyline. The same thing with Rap. Eminem is my favorite rapper and has made an astounding impact on my life. He's very lyrical, and is an amazing storyteller. Also, his commitment to his craft and how he studies it has inspired me similarly with mine. I want to have that same passion, that same drive, and constantly practicing and trying to get better. Rap has a very competitive feel to it, and that has influenced me greatly. You have to prove that you're better in one way or another than this person, or that person. It keeps you exhilerated and on your toes. I love artwork, my favorite illustrator is Arthur Rackham, and my favorite painter is Van Gough. Art speaks volumes, it makes you feel, it tells stories, much like books, only visually and without words. Books and films of course drive me. My favorite author is Kate DiCamillo, who is simply amazing and write directly from her heart, you can just tell. I also revere J. K. Rowling for all the incredible things she has done and the paths she has paved. She's an amazing talent, and not just because she created a phenomenon, but because she's a phenomenal writer. Films always inspire me, because it's like watching the story come to life, and all the little emotions that are on the page in words become real and visual and unspoken. Acting is another form of storytelling, with each mumble, squint, and slouch speaking loudly and about something specific. Terrific.