10 Authors Inspired By Bugs

While most people were screaming and running away from our little insect neighbors, some authors actually received inspiration from them. If you find yourself in the mood for a story inspired by, and written with, pests in them, we have the perfect list for you! Find out which writers let their imaginations wiggle away at the sight of creepy critters:

Here are ten authors inspired by bugs and other pests:

1. Edgar Allan Poe 

A copy photograph of the portrait painted by O...

Poe was famous for his dark poems and short horror stories, so it is no surprise that he could find inspiration from something that makes so many people squirm. His 1843 work, The Gold- Bug portrayed a tale of a man who gets bit by a gold-colored bug and then is compelled to go on a buried treasure hunt.

2. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 

Portrait of Lewis Carroll: This was first publ...

In 1865, writing under the pen name Lewis Carroll, Dodgson wrote the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In this fantastic adventure, little Alice encounters many creatures we consider pests including The Mouse, The Dormouse and, of course, The Caterpillar. Alice is helped by some of her unusual acquaintances all throughout her unique adventure.

3. Franz Kafka 

English: 3:4 Portrait crop of Franz Kafka

Kafka wrote Die Verwandlung in 1915, later translated into the English novella, The Metamorphosis. It is a nightmare of a story about a man who wakes up to find out he had been transformed into a giant bug! Talk about a horror story!

4. William Golding 

Lord of the Flies

Golding found his inspiration from one of our winged companions when he wrote the classic, The Lord of the Flies, in 1954. Although there are no characters that are flies, in this twisted tale, the story’s name comes from a character’s vision after a traumatic event. The severed pig’s head with flies swarming around it, it became the Lord of the Flies to little Simon in this suspenseful tale.

5. Eric Carle

Front cover

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written in 1969, is… well it’s about a very hungry caterpillar! Although it is a story about a crawling bug, this brightly illustrated picture book has delighted children for generations and has become a must have in many home libraries.

6. Stephen King 

Stephen King, American author best known for h...

Falling back to another king of horror, King uses insects as a source of inspiration in his 1980 collection Dark Forces, more specifically, in one of novellas in the series, The Mist . This story depicts a host of unusual, beast-like creatures that attack a small town, killing several of its residents. Among the beasts are large, killer insects.

7. Laura Numeroff

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Numeroff writes a slightly less intimidating tale then Mr. King with her 1985 book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. This cute, children book writes of the woes of giving a mouse a cookie. Although one would not like to live it out in real life, it is a fun tale to read to your children and another classic addition to many home libraries.

8. Simms Taback

Cover of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swall...

In 1997, Taback wrote the now famous, rhyming children’s book, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Oh my! In this fun-filled tale, children watch a woman swallow all kinds of bugs and animals.

9. J.K. Rowlings 

English: J. K. Rowling, after receiving an hon...

Joanne “Jo” Rowling must have been bit at some point in her life because one of the beloved characters, Hagrid, from her 1997 The Harry Potter Series, was fascinated by monsters and kept giant talking spiders as pets. They show up throughout the series causing major problems for the unlucky people who happen to cross their paths! 

10. Suzanne Collins 

This photo is from the Time 100 Gala - click h...

Collins, created a fantastical world under New York City in her 2009, The Underland Chronicles. In this story, the main character has to fight rats, reason with cockroaches and fly on bats to find his lost father and return home.

Authors have been finding insight from pests for many years and, no doubt, for years to come. Next time you are looking for a suspenseful tale or simply just want to eat along with a hungry caterpillar, grab one of these wiggly tales and enjoy!



Angelina Spence is an aspiring novelist, with books in the works for both children and adults. While away from the computer, she enjoys running and doing yoga. She is also rediscovering her joy of swimming and biking and has a couple sprint triathlon races in sight.

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