Your Inspiration Comes From Where?!

Authors are so frequently asked where they get their ideas from that I sometimes think they might flip out like Geoffrey Tennant on Slings & Arrows: Yes, I was inspired by my parents—and my teachers and every play I ever seen and every book I've ever read and everything ever! And it wouldn't be untrue. Inspiration comes from everywhere, and teasing out exactly where you got each idea and character from is an exercise in not-gonna-happen-ery.

That said, sometimes you realize long after you've written something that the ideas you thought were so clever and original were actually unintentional ripoffs of other, usually greater, works of art. Or, in my case, cartoons. I'm an avowed animation fan—I spent this beautiful weekend hidden inside BAM so I could watch Princess Mononoke for the millionth time—so this is not surprising. But it is a little amazing how neatly the characters from Hammer of Witches line up with the 'toons I watched as a kid.

Amazing, and slightly disturbing:


Baltasar, Uncle Diego, & Aunt Serena = Tony Toponi and Papa and Mama Mousekewitz from An American Tail


Although Baltasar + Jinni = Van and Merle from Vision of Escaflowne


And (as mentioned on the Lee & Low blog) Baltasar + Catalina = Taran and Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron


(Although if we include video games in this analysis, then perhaps Baltasar + Catalina more closely = Locke and Celes from Final Fantasy VI)


Martin Pinzon = Frollo from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame


Rodrigo = Wiggins from Pocahontas


Speaking of Princess Mononoke, High Priestess Anacaona = Lady Eboshi (and I love them both so very much)


Antonio = Haggis McMutton from The Curse of Monkey Island (but, like, less Scottish)

And I'm sure there are more cartoon connections I haven't thought of yet. If you think of one, let me know!

Hmm, it now occurs to me that some of you might be more willing to pick up a copy of Hammer of Witches if I make a comparison to some super-hot bishonen-type character that all the girls swoon over. Like I could say that Baltasar is exactly the same as Avatar: The Last Airbender's Prince Zuko, except he's even hotter and more brooding and...


...and actually this is the far more realistic Avatar comparison. Sorry, Zuko fans. Maybe next time?

[PS - The Hammer of Witches hardcover is out NOW! Go buy a copy of the book Kirkus calls "an engaging, magical adventure." You can get the audiobook here. E-book coming soon.]