A key part of every writer’s life is reading. It’s how we got into writing and it’s how we become better writers. So today I’m talking about my favorite writers, why I love them, how they influenced or inspired me, and my favorite book of theres.
Why I love her writing: She’s clever, funny, intelligent, and her books are written so beautifully. Her characters are strong, rich, and flawed. She captures the lives of people of all classes in her books and even though they were written and set over 200 years ago, I can relate to the characters and the stories she tells.
How she inspired me/influenced my writing: For those of you who don’t know, my first novel Aureole is a modern version of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. I read it and hated the ending, so I wrote a modern version. As a whole, though, Jane Austen’s writing showed me how to write strong female characters in books with a plot that holds the reader’s attention and makes them feel. (PS – When I say strong female characters, I don’t mean that they are physically strong. I mean that they are well-rounded and have flaws and feel real.)
My favorite book of hers: Pride and Prejudice, hands down
Sharon Kay Penman
Why I love her writing: Sharon Kay Penmen has written some of my favorite books of all time, like The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III. She puts so much research and facts into her historical fiction books (which are generally huge, by the way, which I love), but she also adds heart and reality into her characters. Even if you don’t like some of the characters – because they are based on real people who seem really awful – they seem like real people.
How she inspired me/influenced my writing: She showed me what is possible to create with a lot of research, even if that research seems daunting. Plus, her story-telling is so powerful and impressive that it really takes you to the time that she’s writing about. That’s the kind of quality of writing that I want to have one day.
My favorite book of hers: Here Be Dragons
Why I love her writing: She has put out so many books that I can’t keep track of them, but they’re always interesting with well-rounded characters and a plot that keeps me turning the page. I’m so impressed with how good her writing is and how she keeps coming up with interesting stories.
How she inspired me/influenced my writing: My writing style right now (and the type of book that TLM is) aligns more closely with hers than with others.
Why I love her writing: If you’ve read the Outlander series, you understand why I love her. Her writing is beautiful but full of action. She captures the feelings of her characters as well as some intense key historical moments. Her characters themselves may not have been real, but there were without out a doubt people like them (minus the whole time-traveling thing of course, unless …?). Her books show how you can incorporate beautiful writing, developed and relateable characters, and lots of action.
How she inspired me/influenced my writing: To be completely honest, she got me back into writing after a long break. In the spring of 2014, I was nearing the end of my year of teaching. I was exhausted at the end of every day and then we had a lot of problems with our Internet at our apartment, so I started reading the Outlander series again. This made me want to write again, to write beautifully with characters my readers would love and adore
My favorite book of hers: Drums of Autumn
Why I love his writing: Oh my goodness, his writing .. *swoons*. It’s incredible. His books – namely The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End – show the definition of world building. His writing .. oh my goodness … when I started to get to the end of his books, I got upset because I didn’t want them to end. His writing is incredible, his characters are so realistic I felt like I know them (especially since he writes about the majority of their lives) … and his writing is just a gift from the muses.
How he inspired me/influenced my writing: I’m in the process of world building for my 3rd novel (just formulating things in my head and writing some things down until I finish TLM) and it has been partially inspired by him. He created all of these people, and an entire town, and researched everything he needed to know to put his world within the historical time he was writing. And then he wrote an incredibly long book! How impressive is that?!
My favorite book of his: World Without End