With this month’s tour topic being Legacy, my knee-jerk reaction was to write about Tintin. However, I already have. In that tour, I explained how much of an influence he was to me. He still is my role model, even after all this time.
However, I would be repeating myself again if I did write about him. So I thought long and hard about any other early role models I had when I was younger. Tracking down memory lane, I reached the end of the path empty-handed.
Then, while reorganising my little library, something clicked as I found a relic hidden away in the back. There wasn’t anyone else who influenced me as much as Tintin, but there was something that helped shape who I am.
One single book. One I stumbled on as a child at a now long-closed store (RIP Borders) that seemed to call to me. At the time I picked it out since it had a cool cover and it was my favourite colour. Little did I know at the time that this book would inspire a life long passion for reading, particularly with fantasy.
DarkIsle by D A Nelson.
Holding it for the first time in gods know how long, a wave of nostalgia hit me. This hardback book was one of the first books that I truly loved. The book made me a true bookworm.
I must have been around 11 years old when I read DarkIsle. I have read a plethora of books since then but the fact I can remember every last detail to this day speaks volumes.
The story follows Scottish 10-year-old Morag who must journey to a forgotten Isle to recover a stolen stone, the one protection it had from invaders. For the first time in her life, she is with friends as she embarks on this quest. Even if they are a passive-aggressive ring; a dragon that has just been awoken after spending 30 years in stone, a Rat, and a Dodo.
DarkIsle was the perfect book for me at that age – not only because I was the same age as the lead, but also due to my love of anything with magic, which features heavily in the story.
So, why did DarkIsle leave such a big impression on me? Simple – at that point most of the books I read were non-fiction. Titles such as Horrible Histories and Horrible Science. The fiction I did read was Harry Potter and pretty much every book Roald Dahl wrote for children.
I never read one of those books and wanted to be in the lead’s place. I wanted to go to Hogwarts but that was about it.
However, I wanted to join Morag on this adventure, hence why I continued reading. I wanted to face those challenges standing by her side, hanging out with her friends and sharing in the victories. This was the first book that truly connected with me. At the time I was just reading stories because I either wanted to learn something or to kill time.
This was the book that showed me books were an escape into another world.
On top of that, this was the story that made me discover my taste in books. I loved the adventure Morag went on so I sought out more adventure books. There is a great mystery element in DarkIsle which sparked my interest in mystery/crime novels. Above all else, I became obsessed with fantasy. If a book had a dragon in it (better yet, if one of the main characters were a dragon), I read it. Some things never change.
It was the book that inspired me to write my own adventures. From that point on I would write short stories set in magical worlds I created. It sparked my love for creating and writing. Passions I still have today.
Passions that led me down the path to becoming a nerd, reading as many books as I could get my hands on. I still love writing and now I create characters who either feature in the story I’m writing, or ones I play as in Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve made friends with incredible people who share my interests and continue to support me.
All of this started because I found a cool looking book as a child.
If that isn’t a legacy, I don’t know what is.
Thank you for reading! Be sure to check out Takuto’s post coming soon!