The Best Books That Inspired Me To Start Writing

The Books I Picked & Why

Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow

By David Gemmell

Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow

Why this book?

David Gemmell wrote some truly amazing books in his life, this trilogy for me stands out. His re-imagining of the Trojan myths is unrivalled, his ability to build a world and make it real, fill it with flawed but brilliant characters had me hooked. He took a well-worn tale, stripped it down and brought it to life in a way no one else could. This taught me that it didn’t matter if I wanted to write something that I thought had already been ‘done.’ Only you can tell your story, and at the end of the day, that’s what’s really important.


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Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur

By Bernard Cornwell

Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur

Why this book?

I was about seventeen, at an airport waiting for a flight to Cyprus when I picked up this book whilst browsing. Didn’t realise at the time it would change my life forever. I read it three times in two weeks, despite finding out after the first time it was the third in a trilogy. I was hooked on the blood and the battles, the brotherhood of Arthur’s soldiers, the bygone era Bernard Cornwell seemed to so effortlessly breathe back to life. I haven’t looked back since.


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The Blade Itself

By Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself

Why this book?

No one creates a character like Joe Abercrombie. He doesn’t write about heroes and villains, just real people with different perspectives. The Bloody Nine must be the greatest creation I’ve ever read. You come to know Joe’s characters like the back of your hand, you can anticipate their actions and find joy when you are right and outrage when you are wrong. This novel, and the subsequent two, taught me that strength of character far out weighs what you are trying to do with your plot. Some times it’s not all about the destination, it’s about the journey. And in the world of the First Law, every journey can be perilous.  


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The Forgotten Legion

By Ben Kane

The Forgotten Legion

Why this book?

Ben instantly became one of my favourite authors after this. It’s not often you can feel an author’s passion for their work, but it shone from every page in this book. I was already hooked on ancient Rome, but I just found this stood out amongst its peers. Ben didn’t concentrate on the generals and senators that would write their names into history, but on the everyday soldiers that lived by the edge of their sword. It is a book I will certainly never forget


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Emperor: The Gates of Rome: A Novel of Julius Caesar

By Conn Iggulden

Emperor: The Gates of Rome: A Novel of Julius Caesar

Why this book?

This is the book that started me off down the path of loving all things Roman. I had just returned from my holiday in Cyprus and rushed to my local bookstore, looking for anything that might be similar to Cornwell’s Excalibur. I found this, and what is sure to be a lifelong infatuation begun. Taking the characters of Caesar and Brutus, and telling their story from when they were children right up to their deaths was a masterstroke. Each year when the next in the series was released it felt like returning to an old friend, and I was gutted when it came to an end.


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