I recently read a writer's speech about how the books he read as a child influenced his writing. He talked about how he wanted to be the author of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings ( I mean, who doesn't?) and how since that was impossible, he'd settle for writing other great stories. I loved reading about how he now recognizs that his childhood favorites both inspired him to be a writer and also influenced his writing style. You can read the full article here.
I started thinking about the favorite writers of my youth. I wish I could say that I read C.S. Lewis and Tolkein, but I didn't. In fact, I'm only just now reading LOTR. (I know, I know...) Anyhow, I loved fairy tales. There's no doubt that my love for them is still with me. When I was about six, my parents signed me up in a book club for kids where I would get books in every month. The mailboxes were at the entrance of the park where we lived at the time.I remember driving my dad crazy to go check the mail, which was a good, long walk from our house, but he would usually give in to my pleading. I couldn't wait to see if another book had arrived, thus began my love affair with books.
As I got older, I read a lot of Nancy Drew books and the Goosebump collection. Mystery, suspense, and spooky plot lines have followed me throughout my writing. My novel Realm of Desire definately has some scarey/mysterious things going on throughout.
As a teenager, I fell in love with Little Women. I read it over and over again. My name was in that library book so many times that I'm sure they thought I was the slowest reader ever. I would turn it in and check it right back out. Jo stole my heart and egnited my desire to become a writer. I won't even mention how many times I watched the movie. lol It remains my favorite book, and sadly, I've never even owned a copy.
In my senior year in high school, I discovered Jane Eyre. I read that book cover to cover in a week. I loved the supernatural (or so we thought) feel of it, the realness, the desire, the sadness... ahh... it's still one of my favorites. That same year, I also discovered Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The slight aversion to reading I had developed in high school was all over with then. I couldn't read enough of Austen's work.
My first novel takes place in the 1880s, and it reads much like a Bronte/Austen book except that I've added the southern flare of Mr. Twain. lol
I never would have thought that all the things that I read as a child/teen would have affected my writing style so much. I owe a lot to these authors that have graced the pages of my life.
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