Writers Who Inspired Me

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I’ve always wanted to be writer.  Always.  But it’s taken this long to get to the point that I’m confident enough in myself and my ability to start putting it out there.  I was having a conversation with some Facebook friends and I was reminded that there have been some very influential writers in my life that shaped the way I write and the type of stories I like to tell.  Writers who inspired me to try creating worlds of my own.

I’d like to pay homage to them. There in no particular order, just which ones popped out at me first.

Anne McCaffrey

dragonriders of pern anne mccaffrey dragonflight science fiction fantasy

So I lied.  Anne is at the top of the list first and foremost because she was so integral to my development as a storyteller.    Since the 1960s. she was one of the few women writers in a field dominated by men.  Her Pern novels carried me away to be a brave dragonrider fighting the pernicious Thread from destroying the people that populated Pern.  She was no respecter of gender, age or sexuality when it came to who could be a hero.  I cried the day she passed away but even though she’s gone /between/ her work still continues to inspire and encourage me.

Orson Scott Card

ender's game orson scott card science fiction

Whether you agree with his opinions or politics (and he has much to say on both) the stories he created have been some of the most influential in science fiction.  I began reading Ender’s Game as many did and I’ll never forget how my mind was blown by the ending.  Like a Twilight Zone episode except the twist had nuclear power, rather than the normal turn-the-lightbulb-on power.  He is a master at characterization and plot, and his Characters & Viewpoint really helped me pinpoint the things that make a character tick and jump off the page.

Terry Brooks

shannara elfstones sword wishsong terry brooks fantasy

I can tell you where I was the day I found Terry Brooks.  I was heading to California with my family my senior year of high school. We had stopped by a outlet mall and I was bored and looking for something to read.  I found a copy of The Elfstones of Shannara and from that point on, I tread down the path of the Fantasy genre and never looked back.  He was one of the first to show me that you don’t need to be pigeonholed into a type of anything – Elfstones was high fantasy, his Word & Void series was urban fantasy, his Landover series is comedy fantasy and he wrote the movie novelization for The Phantom Menace.

Brandon Sanderson

mistborn trilogy brandon sanderson fantasy

Brandon and I are roughly the same age. Most of the authors I’ve read were much older than me.  But his Mistborn book was written with such depth of story, detailed worldbuilding and maturity of characterization, he had the style and ability of someone who was much older than us.  Then I realized – I am old.  I’m not to where he’s at because he’s been actively writing for longer than I have.  He’s amazing talent no matter how you slice it.  He, indirectly, inspired me to think that I have something to say. No matter our age, we are the upcoming generation of Anne McCaffreys and Orson Scott Cards.

C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien

You’re probably wondering “How in the world could you justify lumping both these prolific and amazing authors into one group?”  It’s because they were the catalyst and the foundation of my writing.  My older three siblings are much older than me. I remember being read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and being transported to Narnia with the Pevensie children.  I remember them reading to me the Hobbit and that fateful game Bilbo played with Gollum.  It’s these stories that came alive in my mind that lead me to want to create worlds of my own.

These are just a sampling of the many authors, movie makers and playwrights that influence how and what I write.  How has been the most influential in your life?  Whose worlds have transported you away in your head?


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