This time it was fifteen authors who have influenced me. You're not supposed to think about it very long, just write down the first people that pop into your head. I sat down and thought and comprised the list below. It's kind of a mish mash of people...
- Judy Blume
- Stephen King
- Margaret Atwood
- Jay Asher
- Elizabeth Scott
- Sylvia Plath
- Dennis Lehane
- Gae Polisner
- SE Hinton
- Hans Christian Andersen
- The Grimm Brothers
- Chris Crutcher
- JK Rowling
- William Shakespeare
- Wally Lamb
As you see there are writers of fairy tales, tragedies, mysteries, contemporary and juvenile fiction. They range centuries from Shakespeare, born in the 16th century to very contemporary writers, some of which are still among us.
Even though they seem very different, I think there are some common threads, and that is the reason I believe they have been such a great influence on me.
These are writers who, no matter what world they write in, fantasy or reality, they understand that life isn't always pretty. Even though you may get a message, a moral, or a ray of home in the end, there is not always a happily ever after.
When you do get the happily ever after, sometimes the path leading there can be horrific and ugly and difficult and not easy to navigate. And sometimes they didn't all live happily ever after, but they simply lived and that was enough for them.
I think that is why these writers came to mind. Because when I write I don't write what's easy. I write about the evil step-sisters, the Black Forests, the dark wizards of real life. In my books you don't always get to keep your fins, get the girl, get out of the cold, and sometimes just surviving is your "happily ever after."
Why? I don't know. I'm just drawn to it. Will I always right about that stuff? Who knows? I do know that every writer I mentioned above has a hand in making me the writer I am now.
Maybe in a not so distant future, when these lists are passed through Facebook, or whatever the social media de jour is at the time, my name will be on someone's as a writer of influence and I can give back what the authors above have given to me.
BTW, the first episode of my new video series is up. Here ya go.