In case anyone was wondering, a writer often gets his inspiration from works by other writers. I don’t necessarily mean fiction – of course I get my inspiration from other works of fiction. I mean non-fiction. Whilst being slightly obsessed and fascinated by anything martial, I don’t exactly have the experience to talk or write about it directly. I was in the army for a bit, I did kung-fu for about six years, I collected swords for a few years but what do I know about sword play? I read a lot of fantasy, I even owned a comic book shop with some good friends. An expert? I don’t think so. Let’s face it, Rapture has a lot of sword play in it and to write it properly, I needed to know what I’m talking about. Good fantasy, in my opinion, also needs to be authentic. Before you say anything, the irony of this doesn’t escape me.
What I mean is, if I’m writing about a sword fight, it needs to be believable, it needs authenticity. I wished I’d done kendo, but I didn’t so all my knowledge around sword fighting essentially comes from books. In terms of references, I read a lot of books on the techniques of sword fighting but I kept returning, time and again, to a book I’d discovered some years ago. Miyamoto Musashi. The Book of Five Rings. Look him up (and the book), you won’t be disappointed. More on this later…
Phillip W. Simpson
Phillip W. Simpson is an author of YA and children's books.