A Short Bio
As you should know by now if you have successfully made it to this website, my name is KJ. I was born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida, a city comparable to the Shadow Realm from Yu Gi Oh. When I was 17, I was saved and became a follower of Jesus. At the age of 18, I married my best friend Ciara. A year or so later, our son Hosea was born. About a year and a half later, our daughter Ellie came into the world. Now, just a few years after that, we have a third due to arrive very shortly, and her name is Kora.
A Long List of Influences
Growing up there were many influential books, shows, movies, and artists who I loved and was shaped by. I will try to only lists those which were major influences on my life, because if I were to try and list each entity that has somehow helped to form and add to my creativity, this page would never be finished.
First, we have Dragon Ball Z.
Dragon Ball Z is the earliest influence that I can remember. I always loved the show as a kid, and I think it sparked my love for epic fight-scenes in particular. It is such a classic anime, and I am sure many of my generation were equally inspired by the series. Also, teen Gohan was my favorite character.
Second, we have the Pokemon games for the gameboy color.
I absolutely loved Pokemon growing up. Thinking back on Red/Blue and Silver/Gold brings up some of my fondest gaming memories to date. My mom would buy them for me because the game is presented in many text boxes, so she figured it was good reading practice for me.
Next, I would have to say the Harry Potter series.
For whatever reason (probably my Pokemon addiction), I began reading early on in life. The first long fiction chapter book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (which I actually happen to have a faint memory of a, probably, six-year-old KJ reading this book in the backseat of a car). Though I did not fall insanely in love with the series like many have, I did like it a lot and they certainly increased my love for reading and stories.
Next, I must go to Kingdom Hearts.
Man. I love this series. I’m not even exactly sure why. But there is something magical about those games; there is something otherworldly about the mind of Tetsuya Nomura. I believe what really sold me about these games, and the way in which they most shaped me into the person I am, is the resonating depth that is present. It was the first time I was exposed to themes of the heart, light versus dark, and other elements that seem to get right to the core of what it means to be human.
At this point in my life (moving into middle school and eventually high school) music came to be a dominant influence on my life. As such, the next few art artists.
First, Eminem. I grew up on Eminem. My favorite songs were always those where he spoke about his own life, vulnerably laying his emotions bare; songs like Mockingbird, Lose Yourself, Til I Collapse, etc.
Next, Kid Cudi. Cudi was huge for me. He represented a lot of feelings that I got from Kingdom Hearts, for example; the otherworldliness, the creativity, the honesty — it all made for an artist who a kid struggling to find identity could relate to.
Finally, Lupe Fiasco. Lupe is the most creative rapper of all time. By a fair margin. To this day I don’t know if I have encountered a creator more imaginative than Lupe. Streets on Fire, Daydream, Superstar, Dumb It Down, He Say She Say, etc. Just a simply incredible artist. The Cool is still my favorite album of all time.
For my next major influence, I would have to say becoming a Christian.
I immediately fell in love with theology when I was saved. This longing for depth and meaning that has been present my entire life seemed to culminate into this one passion, so much so that I was actually studying to be a pastor for three years. Though that path did change for me, theology, of course, remains a massive influence on all that I do, especially my writing.
Next up is the man C.S. Lewis.
Arguably the greatest writer of all time, in my opinion. And I didn’t even like the Narnia books. It was his other works, The Abolition of Man, The Four Loves, God in the Dock, etc., that really captured my mind. Lewis had this creativity that seemed to be such a part of who he was, that even when writing about non-fiction, normally “dry” topics, his writing was wonderfully vivid, crisp, and imaginative. His creative skill as a writer is a phantom that I will forever chase in my own works.
I think the last major influence that I would like to mention is going the be the video game developer Naughty Dog, particularly their games Uncharted 2 and The Last of Us.
Video games have long been a great passion of mine, and these two were pretty special among them. The first of them, Uncharted 2, had some of the craziest set pieces I had ever witnessed. The opening scene with the train hanging off of the snowy cliff is still one of my favorite video game experiences ever. The Last of Us, on the other hand, was less focused on dramatic, epic moments like that, and more in tune with narrative nuances and character building.
Now I am sure there are many great influences from my past that I am missing, but this is my list. For now. Also, there are quite a few projects that I have experienced recently that have inspired me and filled me with awe. I have left them off this list for the time being, since I cannot be certain how much or how little they will actually influence me in the long run.
I don’t trust anyone who actually reads an About the Author page. Very suspicious indeed.
Please leave this website immediately and consider changing your identity.