First there was Jane Austen. (Isn’t that such a delicious sentence?)
I read Northanger Abbey when I was thirteen or fourteen – it was the shortest of her books and as I sped through it, I fell more and more in love with the world of Austen. I believe I’d already seen ‘Sense & Sensibility’ (1995), but Northanger Abbey is what really made me an Austenite. I was, to put it lightly, obsessed. And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I decided to write some Regency-era novellas myself. They were mostly thinly plotted, poorly written imitations of Jane Austen’s writings, but they were mine and I loved them and I loved writing them and I had so much fun with them, not knowing anything about characterization or proper dialogue or points of view.
Before, I’d written a few stories, but my adoration of all things Austen was what set my feet on the path to writing seriously. And I’ve never really looked back.
Note: Feel free to check out bits of my horrid writing from this time period here. I have grown so much in six years and it’s rather encouraging.
After I grew up a little and stopped writing Regency-esque stories, a new author captured my interest. She was a teenage writer who frequently posted about her writing online. (I just checked and her old blog – the one I’m most familiar with – is still online! So cool!) I loved her storyworld – Selkin, a non-magical fantasy kingdom that had EPIC world-building – and her characters. I read three or four of her unpublished novels and though there were grammatical errors galore, they didn’t bother me. The rich emotions, characters that lived and breathed on the page, and Christian message throughout fascinated me. I would pay good money to see the Selkin series in print.
Anyway, because of her, I wanted to write books with massive casts, grand locales, and sweeping emotional moments…so I wrote a dystopian trilogy. And it wasn’t great. But I wrote some 250,00 words of it in record time and finished it and it was good practice. I’m still hoping to revisit that world some day.
And then lastly (and most recently) there’s Louis L’Amour. It was jessica prescott (who recommended To Tame a Land) and my brother (who owns almost all of L’Amour’s books) who roped me into the wonderful world of Last Stand at Papago Wells, Brionne, The Daybreakers, etc. Reading Louis L’Amour’s books made me want to write westerns in the worst way possible – so I did. I vowed that all I’d write from then on would be westerns ’cause I loved them so much (which didn’t turn out to be the case, but STILL). Awesomeness.
So there you have it! Three authors who have been a great influence on my life and my journey as a writer. Who are some authors who have impacted you?