INSPIRATION

MUSIC
This album is my #1 inspiration for The Atavists Trilogy. First of all: this album is THE BEST ALBUM ON THIS PLANET. It's haunting. It's beautiful. It's flawless. This album got me through a lot in high school and really inspired the mood of Darkness Surrounding (which I largely failed to convey with the self-published version).


Ever wonder how I came up with Darkness Surrounding, Streets, and Warmness on the Soul as book titles? Well, I didn't. I named and modeled each book based on those three tracks featured on Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. (Cheating? Totally.)
This album inspired the substance of The Atavists Trilogy (including the threat of damnation, the characters of Daniel and Helena, and the projected wings of The Atavists). Epica is a symphonic metal album based on the story of Faust (which I hadn't realized at the time!). You can read more about Kamelot's impact on TAT in this October 2012 post.

BOOKS
This. Is. My. Favorite. Book. EVER.

Although it didn't directly inspire The Atavists Trilogy, The Gargoyle (a story of enlightenment a la Dante's Inferno) floored me. Like Waking The Fallen, this novel is so much more than a novel. It's unearthly brilliance that was somehow captured, trapped, and bound together for the human race to delight over. (Fun fact: I'm friends with Andrew Davidson on Facebook. I AM FRIENDS WITH ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT LITERARY MINDS ON THIS PLANET, PEOPLE. You know, IMO.)
Disclaimer: THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR CHILDREN. I was probably "too young" for it when I first read the series. I mean, it's got incest, sex galore, and some pretty disturbing psychological elements, but you know what? It's FANTASTIC and EMOTIONAL and truly UNFORGETTABLE. 
Ah, Freddy. I'm such a huge fan of this little hamster and his guinea pig friends. I owned hamsters for eight years and loved to collect whatever hamster-related merch was on the market.  The two comic relief characters (Enrico and Caruso) directly inspired the personalities and antics of Benny and Todd.
This is one of the few YA books that I'm totally smitten with. (I'm overly critical of the genre these days. Defense mechanism? Duh.) Annabelle and Owen are fabulous characters. Hell, EVERYTHING about this book is fabulous. Sarah Dessen really knocked it out of the park. The "relationship" between Zanni and a certain character from TAT is definitely influenced by this flawed but lovable couple.

Anyway, I really recommend that you check this one out. You'll feel ALL THE FEELS.
MISC.
Suave Fresh Mountain Strawberry Shampoo

This is the smell of The Atavists Trilogy. If your local supermarket sells Suave (who doesn't?), grab a bottle. It's cheap and it smells delectable.

Fun fact: Zanni mentions using this shampoo in Darkness Surrounding.


I've been on the prowl for angel figurines ever since I started the first draft of Darkness Surrounding. The angel on the right bears the most similarities.  (Doctor Who fans: CHILL!)