...And there were books everywhere. Shelves and shelves of books, books in towering stacks, books on tables. The Wildes liked only one thing more than adventuring.
One of the greatest influences on the Wildes was Doc Savage, Kenneth Robeson's great pulp hero. His adventures were out of print for a long time, but thankfully Sanctum Books has been steadily rereleasing them in recent years. Here are some great ones (each book includes two novels!).
The Frogs of Doom, the malefactors in the first Doc Wilde novel, owe a great deal to the pulp horror tales of H.P. Lovecraft (particularly the short stories "Dagon" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth"). Stephen King once wrote "I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."
Tim's writing the second Doc Wilde novel, Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness. Among his influences this time around are Maxwell Grant's great stories of The Shadow. These classics, like the Doc Savage tales, are being reprinted in gorgeous volumes by Sanctum Books (also with two novels in each book).
...Then the kids joined Doc for their daily exercises. These were a key part of their developmental regimen, and, just like their father, they had done some variation of this routine every day
of their lives...
The Wildes have trained in many martial arts systems, but primarily utilize taijutsu combat skills from ninjutsu. There are many books on ninjutsu, and some are inauthentic, sensationalistic garbage. You can't go wrong with the books of Stephen K. Hayes.
Contrary to the public image of ninja as bloodthirsty scoundrels, true ninja use their knowledge to better their lives and those of others. As ninjutsu master Jack Hoban wrote: "A warrior is a man of action, guided by reason and motivated by love."
The Wildes have trained with experts all over the world in awareness, survival, and tracking. To start down similar paths, the books of Tom Brown Jr. are some of the best you can get.
There are tons of books on writing out there, and quite a few good ones. But Tim, as a general rule, figures it's more important to be writing than it is to be reading about writing. That said, there are two books he recommends with enthusiasm to anyone who wants to write: On Writing by Stephen King and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Back in days of yore, before video games, people started getting together to play roleplaying games face-to-face, using rulebooks, dice, imagination, and the timeless tools of the actor and the storyteller to weave their own tales of adventure. With snacks. The most famous of these games has always been Dungeons & Dragons, but there have been countless others, of many genres, and they remain a great pastime that not only gets people together in a room but exercises the creative mind.
One of the best such games I've ever seen is Spirit of the Century, from Evil Hat Productions. It also happens to be the best pulp game ever produced. It's elegant and easy to play, allowing for quick, action packed adventure with lots of character. If you want to try this sort of gaming, this is the game to get.