Thanking Those Who Inspire Me

Monday, December 28, 2015
As I wrote my thank you notes for Texas pecans, coffee/cinnamon scrub and a gourmet cheese basket, I glanced longingly at my new book. Confession: I, who hate romance novels, am a sucker for Suzanne Brockmann and Sarah Addison Allen, but it is Brockmann who is waiting for me. If I start reading before I get everything else done, thank you notes and everything else just won’t get done.

I forced myself back to the thank you notes so that I could get to the reading. Not that I should put off reading. It does, after all, fuel my writing. Who then should I be thanking for fueling my love of story and of writing?

There are the “adult” authors that I read. I say “adult” because these are adult fiction not adult in a plain brown wrapper.

  • Anyway, I’d thank Brockmann for combining amazing levels of action with characters who, despite their imperfections, I can’t help but love. 
  • I love the fantasy that Allen so matter-of-factly brings to the “real world” in her magical realism and also her beautifully realistic characters. Sharon 
  • Shinn brings her characters to life through descriptions that are unbelievably spare but added together make her characters clear and real.

Then there are the authors I read as a child, the authors who pulled me in long before I entertained the idea that I too could be a writer.

  • Through Mustang, San Domingo: Medicine Hat Stallion, and other horse stories, Marguerite Henry showed me that you could bend fact into fiction and still keep it real. 
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder took this lesson deeper into territory I would one day walk as a writer, showing me that elements from your own life can fuel your fiction. 
  • Gertrude Chandler Warner pulled me into the world of the Boxcar Children, a world where kids could believably set up housekeeping in an abandoned Boxcar without adult interference. I didn’t realize until later that she had taught me about suspension of disbelief. 
  •  Anne McCaffrey peopled Pern with a wide assortment of characters who, in spite of their differences, managed to live and work together. Even before I read Tolkien, I read McCaffrey and saw what could be accomplished in terms of creating a whole new world. No, these aren’t children’s books but I read them beginning in my early teens.

I’m sure that there are authors that I’ve missed but these are the ones that spring readily to mind.

Who would you thank for inspiring your work?


Sue is the instructor for our course, Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins on January 11, 2016.


Cathy C. Hall said...

Oh, way too many writers to name, Sue!

But I couldn't possibly leave off Dr. Seuss who taught me about life in the most whimsical of ways.

And Margaret Mitchell who made history fascinating with a dashing Rhett Butler and a feisty Scarlett O'Hara for a 17 year old girl.

And Neil Gaiman. For everything. EVERYTHING. :-)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--I have too many writers to thank, as well. However, I would thank Laura Ingalls Wilder, Roald Dahl and E. B. White for getting me lost in their stories when I was young. Marilyn French for showing me a novel can empower the reader. Jodi Picoult and Sandra Dallas for giving me twists and turns. Khlalid Hosseini for reminding me that real life doesn't usually have happy endings. And the list could go on...

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Am I the only one reading other people's lists thinking "Ooh, that writer should have been on my list. And that one. And..."

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