The principle inspiration was from dreams, which I described here. The dreams are described in the third and fourth paragraphs. Another non-book or movie inspiration was America. America has been going downhill for a long time, with the government taking more and more power and trying to control every aspect of our lives. I listen to Glenn Beck most days, so I heard about it a lot. Common Core is one of these ways, a national education standard the government is trying to implement which essentially will make everyone the same and allow the government to collect and store records on us. The Affordable Healthcare Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, also takes away freedom and helps the government to collect information on Americans. I wrote The Experiment before the whole NSA spying thing became known, so that wasn't even a part of this inspiration. And if you didn't already know I was a conservative political activist, you do now.
The Giver by Lois Lowry and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle were a big part of the inspiration, more specifically, the society in The Giver and the planet Camazotz in A Wrinkle in Time. Both are very controlled and not the least bit free. I remember thinking how there were lots of books with situations like that, but not very many about it becoming that way. So I decided to write one.
Another thing that inspired The Experiment was an episode of Gilligan's Island. I believe it was called "The Good Doctor" and it was about a mad scientist. The scientist came to the island and took the castaways to his home where he switched their minds with each other. So the idea of a mad scientist became inseparably connected to The Experiment. A character from certain children's Star Wars books had a part in it as well. In the Rebel Force series by Alex Wheeler there is a character called X-7 who was taken by the Empire, his memory was erased, and he was used as an assassin, his mission being to kill Luke Skywalker. Later in the series, you find out who he used to be, Trever Flume, a principal character in the Last of the Jedi series by Jude Watson. Trever wasn't exactly the greatest character, he was an orphan and a reformed street thief, but I liked him and hated to find out what the Empire did to him. This greatly influenced the experiments on Edmund Rubin.
In Turn Homeward, Hannalee by Patricia Beatty, Hannalee is forced to be a servant for a cruel couple after the Yankees kidnap her during the Civil War and ship her north. The Raingolds' life at the Donahoes' was inspired by this.
In parts of the story, the Raingolds and their friends are in orphanage-type places, which was because of my love of orphan stories. Some of the stories that inspired this are the musical Annie, Changes for Samantha, Thursday's Child by Noel Streatfeild, and Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards.
Thinking back on The Experiment, I realized that the experiments on Georgie were probably influenced by the Vita-Wonk and Wonka-Vite in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl and Anne's memory most likely came from Cam Jansen's photographic memory in the Cam Jansen series by David Adler.
It just goes to show, what you write is influenced by what you read!