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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Author Who Inspired You

I've always loved to read but there was one book that changed everything for me. After I read it I knew I wanted to be a writer. The author of that book will forever be etched into my mind as the one who inspired me to follow my dream. Most of you probably had a similar experience. That inspirational moment can shape everything from your writing style to your chosen genre. For me it was The Warriors: Guardians of the Flame by Joel Rosenberg. After only a few pages into this epic fantasy novel I was hooked and long before the last page I knew I had the soul of a writer. The book is unfortunately out of print but if you're lucky enough you might be able to find it at a used bookstore. Joel wrote many more books after that, some of which are still available.

Chances are that first book that sparked your inspiration also molded your writing style. During a recent read through of my old favorite I realized this was definitely true for me. My style has evolved with every book I've read but it will always bare a few similarities to Joel Rosenberg. And you know what, after reading back through his books, I'm really okay with that.

No matter who initially inspired you the important thing is to keep reading because as we read we learn. As long as you keep reading, you'll never stop learning. I'm curious, who inspired you, or still does today?

14 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this question! One of my all-time favorites is Patricia Polacco. Her picture books blow me away - I want to be HER when I grow up! I also adore Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series. If I could be the author of one of today's book series - any series - it would be Fablehaven. :-)

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  2. Two authors were responsible for inspiring me to write. The first is a man named Lu Cervi, who is a tough old Australian "bushy" who has spent most of his adult life in the Australian bush and on the land as a farmer. Quite unexpectedly for many Lu wrote a book about 20 years ago called "Sanbar Hunter" - a collection of witty anecdotes and stories gathered from his many years traveling around the country side. As a young boy who was beginning to discover a love of words and writing, I thought his achievement - to be a published author - was something really special and it was something that I have since aspired to (and have) achieved.

    The second inspiration was the late journalist Matt Price who wrote a regular column called "The Sketch" in The Australian - our national daily broadsheet. Matt Price observed national politics in the same way a sports writer observes football - with a flair and wit that made politics infinitely less boring and somehow more human. He had a great love of people, of Bob Dylan and of the Australian Rules Football Team, the Fremantle "Dockers". Sadly Matt Price died in 2007 after a short battle with cancer. I dedicated my own novel "The Hambledown Dream" to his memory.

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  3. My favorite author when I was growing up—and the one who inspired me most—was Barbara Michaels. I always adored her strong, educated female characters. She also wrote great mysteries as Elizabeth Peters, most notably the Amelia Peabody mysteries. These always appealed to me because I've always had a passion for Egyptology.

    I was also very fond of Piers Anthony and Andre Norton growing up. Other favorites: Phyllis Whitney, Jane Austen, Mary Stewart ... oh so many!

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  4. Fablehaven sounds good Shannon, I'll have to look that up! I love artist's books too, my favorite would have to be Larry Elmore or Michael Whelan.

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  5. Dean, that is so inspiring and touching that you dedicated The Hambledown Dream to one of your idols. I love that story, thanks for sharing it!

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  6. Wow Portia, Barbara Michaels is a name I haven't heard come up in a while but I loved her books! You can't go wrong with a strong, educated female character!

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  7. I'm a huge Elizabeth Peters fan. I fell in love with her characters, her Egypt, her wit... all SO good! She made reading fun for me, and without that impression, I never would have tried writing. Thanks Ms. Peters!

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  8. This may sound corny, but I grew up loving Danielle Steele novels! I read them as a teen, crying my way through the chapters. I'm a sap.

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  9. I like to think I'm inspired by every book I've ever read. I've been writing so long I can't really remember what book it was that made me say, I must be a writer. I think it may all be the fault of my overactive imagination. It was either make stuff up and write about them or make up a bunch of imaginary friends to have conversations with. So, the writing thing was slightly more socially acceptable!

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  10. That's great Samantha! I love stories like that when someone's writing touched one so deeply.

    Not corny at all Julie! I love Danielle Steele! I've been known to watch her movies on Lifetime.

    I love that every book you read inspired you Alissa! Sounds like writing kept you sane. I know someone just like that, no wait, that's me!

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  11. Excellent question! And... will tell you after some sleep. So much inspiration all around me... daily, and often.

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  12. The first one? Lisa Kleypas. Since her? Teresa Medeiros and Shana Abe. Also have to give credit to Charles (Dickens that is)!

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  13. I know of and love Teresa Medeiros and Shana Abe but I don't know Lisa Kleypas. I have to look for her books! Thanks Lindsey!

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