Sunday, 22 January 2017

That spark of imagination from a galaxy far, far away

A Princess from a galaxy far, far away
I was very shocked with the death of Carrie Fisher over Christmas.  I was actually surprised how shocked I was, I have never met her and seen a few of her films but I am a huge Star Wars fan.  Princess Leia isn’t her, but she gave her life and put apart of herself into the character.  But even so, being a big fan of the films I was still surprised.  I read her latest book and got to know her a little more, and it felt so poignant with her death, and realised how insecure she was when she made the original film, yet portrayed such a strong female character.

I realised, she influenced my writing.  It was her as Princess Leia, and how much that film and her influenced me.  I was about 6 or 7 when I saw Star Wars and it changed my life, it influenced me in so many ways. It gave me the interest in Sci-fi, I had always been interested in space but this really influenced me.  No I haven’t grown up to become an astronaut, or become a Princess in a galaxy far, far away, but it made me want to write.  Not just Sci-Fi, I also write fantasy and horror and in all my stories I have strong female leads, but still vulnerable, and insecure.  The more I thought about it I realised it was that day, the very first time I saw the film.  A little girl too small and light the get the old cinema seats to fold down properly.  Being totally transfixed, scared to death when Darth Vader appeared but getting that little twinge of bravery when Princess Leia fought those Storm Troppers on her space ship.  That scene of a Princess holding her own against the enemy that would stay with me to this day over 36 years later.  She moulded my writing and still have a little Princess Leia inside me.

Little wanna be Princess
from Derbyshire
I will be a huge Star Wars fan for the rest of my life and still have a crush on that scruffy looking nerf herder, Han Solo.  But what Star Wars and Carrie Fisher did was give me that spark to write and all my female characters have a little bit of Princess Leia in them, holding their own against the enemy.  And all I can say is thank you Star Wars you have influenced so much in this world as well as me.  And I am now seeing that spark in my son, it’s like seeing me all over again and wonder how much Star Wars will influence him.

I now wonder looking at other writers, I think what influenced you? A person, a character from a book or film.  Whatever, just to get that little spark to make your imagination fly is priceless.