But once again I digress because today, while I am talking about inspiration, I'm focusing more on the authors and writers who have been my inspiration, the people who have made me say, "I want to write like that!"
Hmmm...I smell a list coming on. Here are my top ten (in chronological order):
1. The Secret of the Unicorn Queen crowd- This was a series of six MG books that my mother came across for me back in middle school. It was about a girl who fell through a portal into a parallel universe and took up with a group of unicorn riding rebels until she could find her way home. They were written by different authors but I had to put these books/authors on my list because these are the books that inspired me to write my own fantasy series. Talk about influential. They are: Josepha Sherman, Gwen Hansen, Suzanne Weyn and Dory Perlman.
2. Ellen Emerson White- Well, if you know me at all, then you know she has to be on this list. I came across her novel, The President's Daughter, in the school library in the seventh grade one day when I was tired of being harassed about my Sweet Valley High obsession. I haven't looked back since. I wanted to be her main character, Meg Powers, when I grew up. I still kind of do.
3. Cynthia Voigt- An amazing writer for young adults. I was/am particularly enthralled with her novels that revolve around the Tillerman family as well as those in the Kingdom series. I love the way she writes her main characters. Dicey Tillerman kicks ass. Talk about a strong female character. Go out and read Homecoming right now.
4. William Faulkner- I read a lot of his books in my later high school career. The one that inspired me the most was As I Lay Dying which helped me to start my novel (in progress) How Many Angels.
5. Robert B. Parker- Of course Robert B. Parker had to make this list. I'd like to thank Ellen Emerson White for having her character, Meg Powers, read Spenser novels. I've always loved Parker's sense of humor. Conversations between Spenser and Hawk are really the best.
6. Laurie Halse Anderson- I first read her novel, Speak when my sister, B, recommended it. It's now one of my all time favorite books. This woman is an amazing writer and if you read nothing else in your lifetime, read Speak. Then read Twisted and Wintergirls. If you let yourself get turned off by the fact that these are YA novels, you are cheating yourself.
7. Joss Whedon- C'mon. My religion on Facebook is listed as "W.W.J.W.D.?" How could I not put him on this list?
8. Philippa Gregory- A historical fiction writers, she's created so many novels that I have found to be just so affecting. The way she writes historical fiction is the way I want my fantasy novels to read. Realism and gravitas. That's what I want.
9. George R.R. Martin- His series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is a must for any fantasy writer. Talk about realism and gravitas. I could only dream of writing a fantasy series like this. I love fantasy that makes me forget I'm reading fantasy.
So that's ten, huh? Already? All right then. This is what we're going to have to do...
Okay, I lied. I'm going to include just two more because I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't mention...
11. Suzanne Collins- I picked up The Hunger Games because I'd been reading so much about it on other blogs and Facebook and whatever. So glad I did because it's really the most amazing story. I read it in one sitting because there was no good place to stop reading... and isn't that the mark of a great writer?
12. J.K. Rowling- I don't even have words. You know why she's here.
Now it's your turn: who are the writers whose work you've wanted to claim as your own? Or, what inspires you?