Since we all love to read, I thought I’d share with you whose books inspired me to be a writer, to be a better writer, and to be brave enough to write what was in my heart.
The #1 position is held by Mary Stewart. When I read “The Moonspinners” I was entranced. I read it about six or seven times. It was that book that made me want to write stories for other people to read – specifically to write love stories. I was in eighth grade. I had written things before, but I’d never thought about making a living doing it until then.
I couldn’t make a list of authors I admire without including Margaret Mitchell. Her “Gone with the Wind” is the essence of historical romances. The sweeping, all-encompassing history and historical facts in her book are staggering. Yes, there is no HEA, but the ending still stands for all time as one of the best. Readers could write their own sequel (until the actual one came out…but it doesn’t count because Margaret didn’t write it).
Truman Capote inspired me to never stop learning how to write better and to go at your own pace. I love the story of how he and Ernest Hemingway were in a hotel room writing one day. They started in mid-morning and in the late afternoon Hemingway pushed aside his typewriter and suggested they call it a day and head to the bar for drinks. He glowered at Truman and said, “I’ve typed three whole pages of my novel and you’ve sat there all damn day and typed one word!” Truman smiled and said, “Yes, but it’s the right word.”
LaVyrle Spencer inspired me to write historical romances. I had written only contemporary stories until I read her books. “Hummingbird,” “Twice Loved,” “Vows,” “The Gamble, and “The Endearment,” along with all her others, brought joy to me and made me want to step back in time. She is a beautiful writer. Of late, I read a book that reminded me of LaVyrle’s touching characters and storylines – “Archer’s Voice” by Mia Sheridan. It’s simply wonderful and I’m a big fan of hers now.
Finally, I must give a bow to E.L. James. Yes, yes, I’ve read all the criticism of her writing. Hey, folks, I’ve read a lot worse that made bestseller lists, so chill. Besides, if you’re reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” and you’re all wrapped up in bad sentence structure or weak word choices, then you just don’t get it anyway. People don’t enjoy those books because of the writing style. (wink, wink) I was totally wrapped up in Christian’s character. I thought he was fascinating and I loved all three books. They inspired me to write what was in my heart – what I’d wanted to write for 10 years, but had been afraid to branch off into a new direction with it.
There are many other authors I love, but these are touchstones for me.