IY: What We Learn From Books (and TV, I guess)


I’m having a wonderful Twitter conversation about Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yes… I finally decided to talk to people properly on Twitter about those things that interest me. If you want to join me there, seek me out: @ileandraXraven.

Anyway, Buffy. Vampires. Blood. Sex. Da Shared Brain as a 14 year old loner who prefers to make stuff up on paper rather than chat to real people.

When people say ‘formative years’ I don’t think I realised how much so. Y’see, in doing a bit of soul searching DSB has going through old diaries (there’s loads of them, from about 1996 onwards!) and watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer right from Season One. She hasn’t got far – only Season Two – but already it’s plain how much the show influenced my early writing.

Oh, wait. Have to do this:

Right. Okay. I feel better now.

Anyway…
If I look back at To Be A Teenage Vampire all the clues were there. Ileandra was a lot like Buffy (despite being a vampire) in that she was strong, driven, loyal, dedicated and spiritually powerful. She was a teenager. She had family problems to deal with. Boyfriend woes. School. I pretty much just took Buffy, made her black, turned her into a vampire and ran wild with it.

And I’ve never seen that (clearly) until now.

I’m fascinated by this because teenagers are, by their nature, impressionable. They’re learning. They’re gathering information on the people they’re going to become and most of that information comes from the media. Yes, there will be school and family and friends, but music, films, TV and of course  BOOKS have a massive influence too.

My bookshelves

So what are we teaching them? Are we teaching women to be strong, independent, loyal and resourceful (Buffy SummersKatniss Everdeen) or are we teaching them that the only way to be happy is with a man at your side (Bella Swan) or that we can save the poor tortured soul, just by trying something new – even if you don’t really fancy it and/or you’re slightly scared by it (Ana Steele -_-). Yes, before you say it, I realise these examples are coloured by females, but it’s just what comes to mind.

I don’t write YA but that doesn’t mean that young adults or new adults or younger still won’t end up reading what I do write. If my own life is anything to go by then 14 and 15 year olds could easily be reading Stephen King and Shaun Hutson right now. DSB certainly was (in between Mills & Boon and Sweet Valley High *shudder*).

Basically I’m saying we should pay attention to what messages we’re sending with our words as they will have a big impact on the generation of people running the nursing home you end up in. 😉

grandpa with a walking stick, clipart

Credit: pnx

I’m interested though, and this Twitter chat has opened up lots of thoughts. What did you read/watch when you were younger? How much of an influence did it have on your life then and does that feed through to now? I’d love to hear from you. Talk to me about it!

new ileandra signature,

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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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