Since the December release of Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town I've been talking a lot in interviews about what influenced me while writing the book and I, inevitably, always discuss certain books that had a huge impact on me as a child and really helped shape the way I thought about Jimmy Stone.
What I haven't had as much time to chat about, however, are some of the amazing movies that influenced Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town, so I thought this might be the perfect time to do just that.
The list itself could go on for days and I could sit here and list about a hundred movies that somehow had an impact on me while conjuring up Jimmy, but instead I've decided to break them into three categories and just chat briefly about a few of the movies. I'll link to their IMDB pages if you want more in-depth info on any of the films themselves, but this should be a fun primer for anyone who is reading (or plans to read) the book.
Boy-On-An-Adventure or Boy-In-The-Wilderness Movies
- The NeverEnding Story
- A Cry in the Wild
- Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
- Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog
- The Monster Squad
- My Side of the Mountain
- Little Monsters
The tie that binds this great list of movies together is the fact that each and every one includes a young boy (or group of boys) either on an adventure or mission, trying to get home, or trying to survive in an unforgiving environment. Jimmy Stone has to endure some of these very same situations and all of the above movies played some role in influencing me as I wrote the book.
Movies like The NeverEnding Story, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, The Monster Squad, Pinocchio, and Little Monsters all display such an amazing sense of adventure and wonderment that they laid the perfect groundwork for Jimmy's own adventure. Films like A Cry in the Wild and My Side of the Mountain, on the other hand, deal with the separation and isolation of surviving in an unfamiliar place. All these characters want to do is get home and nothing speaks more strongly to Jimmy's plight than that.
Jimmy's dog Trex plays an integral role in Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town and the influence of some of my favorite animals-on-an-adventure movies are clear throughout the book. The three movies above not only informed the story, but also helped provide the framework for the boy-dog relationship we see in the book.
Ghost Movies or Generally Creeptastic Movies
- Lady in White
- The Gate
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? - Technically, this is a TV show.
- The Peanut Butter Solution
- Monster House
- Mr. Boogedy - Technically, a TV movie.
Once Jimmy, David, and Trex make their way into Ghost Town, I wanted the book to have this creeping sense of dread and the above movies all had a hand in providing the influence for this creepiness. Along with The NeverEnding Story, Lady in White probably has the most overall influence on Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town. It's just a perfect little ghost story that's become a cult favorite and one that we watch every Halloween in our house.
Movies like The Gate, The Peanut Butter Solution, and Monster House are just so downright creepy that they provide that perfect influential tone, while Poltergeist, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and Mr. Boogedy are just really fun ghost stories.
Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of the movies on these lists. They're all worth a chance in your DVD player. I'd be remiss as well if I didn't mention the obvious influence of films like The Spiderwick Chronicles and the Harry Potter series. Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town is, after all, "A Fantastical Mystery for Young Readers."
I hope you'll give some of these films a chance. If you do, or if you're already a fan of some of them, let us know in the comments. We'd love to hear what you think!
If you want to grab a copy of Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town, you can get it for only $0.99 (for a limited time) on Amazon.com, BN.com, Smashwords.com, and Amazon.co.uk.
There aren't many things you can buy for 99 cents these days, but Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town is one of them! Plus, it's my birthday today... buy some books! :)