Which Authors Inspire Me, and Why?
I’ve thought about this question a lot, and there’s no easy answer, no simple answer. Many authors have inspired me in different ways. I decided the best way for me to answer this question is with bullets – snapshots into the who and why.
- There are so many authors I read as a child and young adult whose work still gives me a little thrill or a smile when I think about them.
- Madeleine L’Engle and A Wrinkle in Time – That story sucked me in and whirled me around and made me believe things exist that we don’t know about. Yet.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder and The Little House on the Prairie series – the drama! The heartache! The adventure! And so many characters to love. And despise (I’m looking at you, Nellie Oleson.)
- C.S. Lews and The Chronicles of Narnia – I didn’t have a wardrobe to climb through for transport into another world, but reading these books made me feel like I did.
- J.R.R. Tolkien and The Hobbit et. al. – amazed at the complexity and world building and fantastic storytelling, though I didn’t know that then. I just loved the books. Still do.
- S.E. Hinton and The Outsiders – such a different life from my own, and yet I felt like I was in their world.
- Louisa May Alcott and Little Women – Jo! I felt like she and I would be great friends.
More books and authors come to mind but I won’t bore you with a longer list. Suffice it to say that each of these books hold a place inside of me and are treasures in their own right, at least as far as I’m concerned. I appreciate what these works did for me as a young person, and I’m inspired to create something that does the same for those who read my books. I hope they trigger imaginations, carry the reader out of their own worlds and into another, or delight the reader if not for a long time, at least for a little while.
There are contemporary authors that inspire me as well. Here are a few of them:
- Jeffery Deaver, not only because he’s prolific and has an enviable work ethic, but because he is a great person who gives back to writers, offering advice and counsel and training, and seems to sincerely enjoy interacting with newbie writers and professionals alike.
- J.K. Rowling because she created a world and characters I love, and she did it from nothing, against the odds, hit numerous roadblocks and kept going. And look at her now. We should all take inspiration from her journey.
- Vince Flynn because he believed in his work, chased that writing dream and achieved it to great success (much like J.K. Rowling).
Without seeming trite, I must add my fellow authors at Wicked Ink Books, and many authors I’ve met through Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, and other writing adventures (conferences, online classes, digital connections, etc.). I’ve learned much from my writing tribe, and experiencing their success vicariously has been key to keeping my writing fires burning bright, and keeping me going, believing, and chasing that writing dream. I published my first novel in February 2016, and have more in the works. The fires are stoked.
All of the above, all of the reading and experiences and friendship — for me that package is the best kind of inspiration.
I’d love to hear about authors that have inspired you either as a writer or a reader. Please share in the comments.