I’ve probably already written a post similar to this already… but I’ll still go on talking about this, regardless. You could say that this is the continuation of my post, Writer’s Assemble.


I want to talk about the books that have inspired me to write. These are also the books that make me feel, simultaneously, like an awful writer. Simply because of how awesome they appeared like after I first read them. We’ve all had that feeling. But, instead of feeling horrible about myself… It inspired me to write, or to write more. Strange, isn’t it?

Like I said, I rarely cracked a book open till the age of eleven or twelve. Incidentally, I only started cracking ’em open because when I was eleven, I wrote my own book. Guess what. It was terrible. You know how when you look back to your past, you shed a tear from the beautiful nostalgia out of it all? Well, I shed a tear from how awful I was back then. I don’t even have the book on my computer anymore. It exists only on my Mom’s computer. I’ve done as much as I can to erase its existence off the face of this Earth and Mars. Why Mars? Because I had a beta reader that—-

Probably shouldn’t tell you about that. So. My sister recommended me a book that she thought I would like. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. At the time, I shrugged and reluctantly agreed to give it a shot. I mean, this was a book. It was probably going to be terrible. Am I right? Well, I was proven wrong. And I loved being proven wrong. When I read the first few chapters, I was in absolute awe. In just the Prologue, it completely wiped out my book. The book that I spent at least a year working on! That is amazing. It infuriated me, and inspired me at the same time. I devoured the rest of the books. I had eBooks of ’em, but I truly loved them, and I convinced my sister to get me paperback copies.

They were dark – unlike any book I’d ever read beforehand -, they had plenty of magic, and… Dude. They had assassins. Immortal assassins. Wait, they’re wet boys. Immortal wet-boys. They’re way cooler than regular assassins. I know, I sound like a real fan boy… But that’s because I am a huge fan boy. I can’t help it.

So, after reading the Way of Shadows, I started writing more serious works. My book beforehand could’ve been classified as YA, despite all the death… After reading the Night Angel Trilogy, I began to write about mercenaries and mass murderers… It changed the characters I wrote about, really, and I thank it every day. You could attribute my less-than ‘good’ and ‘presentable’ characters to Brent Weeks’ genius.

Now, there was a downside. I scoured the internet for more books like this, and I was disappointed. There was no other book like the Night Angel Trilogy. I was devastated… But I didn’t give up my search. Then, a month later, I happened upon the Mistborn Trilogy… Damn. Okay. A lot of people have said that it’s not gritty enough, not dark enough… To which, I reply, have you even read any of the books? Dear God, man… The premise of the first book was that the bad guy won! He won! He owned the superheroes and the armies… He defeated all of them. And he enslaved an entire race of people. And the main characters were thieves. Heck, they were killers, too, if you think about it. Kelsier, after all, really put people through the ringer. If that’s not dark enough, then what is? I loved it. Sure, it’s not as dark as the Night Angel Trilogy or Game of Thrones. But, the magic system, man… and the characters. The magic system changed the game for me. I wrote fantasy, and I read fantasy. The magic system of Mistborn hands down beat the world building and magic systems of EVERY fantasy book I’d ever read up to that point. Afterwards, I concentrated on making a detailed world and an expansive magic system. Yet, though I like to think mine’s quite good… It just sucks in comparison to Allomancy.

Like with Brent Weeks, I read every new book of Brandon Sanderson’s. (Aside from his WoT books)

Yet, I reached the same problem that I had after reading the Night Angel Trilogy. I had nothing else to read. After reading all of Sanderson’s books, it was done. Nothing else. I lost hope in fantasy. I wasn’t arrogant enough to think that my own book was the last light of fantasy. Or shadow, depending on how you think of it. But, I couldn’t find any other book that could match with these books that so inspired me.

Then my friend recommended me a show. And that show was A Game of Thrones. I know, I know. How could I not have read the Game of Thrones before all of those books? It’s ridiculous, to be perfectly honest. I don’t know how I could’ve overlooked it ’till then. But, after finishing the first season, I just sped through all of the books. They were epic. The scale was vast, and the cast numbered over a dozen. I can attribute my love of different and unique characters to A Song of Ice and Fire.

But, by that time, I was already expecting to be disappointed when I couldn’t find any more books. I mean, really. I, of course, saw it coming. That does not mean that it still didn’t devastate me, however. I tried the Wheel of Time, it wasn’t to my tastes. I tried a lot of other books. Then, my sister recommended me a book she’d been telling me about when I was only nine years old. Nine! It was Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon. It was vast in scale, just like Game of Thrones, but it had something over all of them… And that was politics. Yeah, the political machinations of ASoIaF is awesome. That can’t be denied.

But, in Wolfblade, you were literally taken on a journey of a young princess learning how to become the greatest politician in her kingdom. It was brilliant, honestly. I loved every part of the story. The first book spanned across a decade, I believe, and we got to see her from the age of 16 up to when she has children of her own. It was legendary, to me. I can attribute my poor attempts at politics to the Wolfblade Trilogy. Sadly, it’s not very well known… To which, I say.. R-E-A-D IT. Now.

I’ll wait a minute for you to open up Amazon and download it unto your Kindle or to order it.



Done? Good. You’ll have a wonderful time. If you’ve read none of the books I have mentioned… This may hurt your wallet quite a bit, but.. Seriously, read all of those books. NOW. They are amazing. They were awesome. They literally had me in awe, with my mouth gaping open… Read them.

What are some books that have inspired you as a writer? I really hope you comment and tell me. I would love to know. If you agree with my tastes in books, please tell me. If you disagree, please tell me. I really would appreciate it if you took the time to Like and comment. Cool? Yeah. Thanks. Now go read those books. Since… Yeah. Just do it.

~J.A. Romano


P.S: I have a guest post on the blog of a cool guy I know next Wednesday. He has this series for guest bloggers to write about their favorite YA book. I wrote about my own favorite YA book. What is my favorite YA book? It’s a secret… but it’s by Eoin Colfer, and it’s an eight book series. I know, not exactly narrowing the list down for you… But you should check out his blog. He writes really cool reviews, and has some cool ideas. He’s also the blogger for a major review site. Check ’em out.



  1. tktrian says:

    Good post!
    We own the Night Angel trilogy, and while it’s well written, some of it kind of rubs T & K Trian the wrong way. It’s not that we don’t like clichés, some clichés are awesome, (and Brent Weeks seem like a really awesome person!), but the intelligent whore with a golden heart, the gritty warrior pining for lost love, and the struggling little boy apprentice are stock characters that we tend to avoid in books and our own writing. Of course there’s more to Night Angel than cardboard clichés and the characters are deeper than that, but it was a chore to get into the novel!

    We also have the Mistborn trilogy in our bookshelf. At times the narration gets stagnant, but the premise is interesting with a potential heroine who isn’t a Laracroft-ian Mary Sue.

    So no denying, both novels can be VERY inspiring!

    Have to check out Wolfblade though. It’s difficult to find really good books by women writers. They tend to be too namby-pamby, or if they try to be gritty and eeeevil… well, you kinda have to be someone like Linda Adams — a real friggin’ soldier — to pull that off (or go way overboard and have a killer imagination like Juliette Benzoni: feisty fencing with psycho husbands, rape and satanic rituals in 19th century Venice, cutthroat pirates, deformed barons, and ballroom massacres…)

    Finding nothing to read is a common problem to us too. Hence we write ourselves. If you can’t find something you like, do it yourself, yeah? Doesn’t mean what we do is better — it’s not or else we’d be millionaires by now — but it’s what we enjoy.

    Good books are like good anime. Really, really friggin’ hard to come by!

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Couldn’t agree more. : )

      Wolfblade is pretty awesome. It’s surprisingly realistic. In the beginning, you’ll be annoyed by the heroine, but she learns and becomes spectacular at politics.

      Although, I do know of some pretty good female writers, not a lot of them write in the genre/subgenre I’m aiming for. (Which is dark fantasy.)

      How are the rewrites going, by the way?

      • tktrian says:

        Pretty well, thanks. It’s slow going though, especially cos we are now really busy with extracurricular activities such as school and work xP You still editing LoC?

  2. J.A. Romano says:

    Yup. It’s a bit of an endless process, but that’s what you get when you start writing a book with no concern for proper grammar. (Well, I did have that concern, but it’s starting to look like I didn’t. xD )

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