This is a blog post where I become a fan girl (to some extent) and talk about three Authors who inspired me and changed my life.
Author #1 is the lovely and talented Kathy Reichs
I was first introduced to Kathy and her writing when I picked up the third novel Deadly Decisions” in her on-going Temperance Brennan series. I think I was about 13 or 14 at the time. I just fell in-love with Temp and Detective Ryan (who doesn’t love Detective Ryan?) and the tone of the novel. What I loved most about the novel outside of the writing was that it was set in Canada. Montreal actually. There was French and for the first time I picked up a novel I could reach out and touch. Montreal was a real place I had lived there. I knew the streets she was talking about and I knew the history of the biker wars. Her writing inspired to me write and to more importantly keep it real. I’ve kept up reading her novels one of my favourite being “Bones to Ashes” which is actually set in the same area that my debut novel is set in (purely random connection I assure you).
Kathy continues to inspire me as she is doing what I want to do. The success of her novels along with the hit TV series “Bones” has been amazing. She is a very smart and educated woman who choose writing and has done masterful things with it. I only hope to hit half of her success level.
Author #2 is the amazing and brilliant Diana Gabaldon
I was working at a small museum in rural Nova Scotia and my then boss shoved “Outlander” into my hands and said “READ!!” So I did and I was totally hooked. I spent the summer working in this Museum but mostly reading the entire series only to be thrilled that the next book was coming out that fall “Breath of Snow and Ashes”. I kept reading then I turned around and re-read the whole series again. Claire to me is strong, smart, a nurse, and who I want to be in life (and hey Jamie isn’t half bad either!). I see her as someone to look up to in life. An excellent role model, even if she is fictional.
Diana is also someone to look up to. When I first wanted to be taken seriously I started checking out websites and I loved hers. It was the previous generation of the current one and if I remember correctly it was an interesting shade of pink. It was marvelous though. The advice she dispensed went from “Wrote a book. Luckily, they don’t make you get a license.” (Although sometimes I think they really should) to “I also don’t write in a straight line” and even “-“Easy,” I say, “I just sat down and typed ‘I’.-” for the first time I realized I didn’t have to follow a set “formula” I could write what I wanted to when I wanted to. I follow a similar pattern, not on purpose, just because that’s the way my brain works.
When I sat down to write my debut novel I had an ending in mind, but it twisted it turned and where it ended up was totally different then where it began. I love it though it’s a journey to get there. Not knowing the ending other than “They end up together” is lovely. With my current novel i’m shopping around “Duty, Honour, Love” I took a completely different approach. I knew exactly what I wanted to happen and pretty much how it got there. I actually wrote it in a straight line (woah! crazy). When I went back to “Boots on the ground” It took me well over a year and a half to write all of the bits and pieces and put it together in something that I think resembles a novel.
I found Diana’s words amazing and encouraging. She’s quick witted and obviously very very smart. Her ability to inspire has taken and pushed my writing in a direction I never realized it needed to go and for that I am ever so grateful.
Author #3 is the funny and smart Carole Barrowman.
I was first introduced to Carole like many of her other fans through her brother John. What keeps me a fan of her though is her amazing talent for telling a tell. Scots by birth she inherited the Scottish way of telling stories which I find parallel my own which I credit to my deep Nova Scotia roots. Her first book she ghost-wrote for her brother John “Anything Goes”. I’m have to admit if I ever were to meet her I’d have to buy another copy just to get her to sign because I’m afraid my first copy is held together with duct tape.Yup I read it that much. (Duct tape books is not an un-common theme in my house. Both copies of Kathy’s and Diana’s books are held together with duct tape not to mention several copies of Harry Potter, and numerous crime mystery, action and romance novels)
What is most amazing about Carole ability to teach in such a way that you don’t even know that you’re learning. I was reading a section (I think maybe on her facebook page) where she was talking about how she writes. She mentioned that before she wrote for that day she would go back and re-read and edit what she wrote the previous day. What is of course a simple concept to many was amazing and eye openeing to me. Before I used to write, write, write and then when I was finished I would go back and edit. Editing what I did the previous day changed the way I wrote and in turn made me a much better writer.
What is truly special about all three of these women is that one point in their lives they’e been or they currently are teachers. I believe that they’ve taught me a lot with out even knowing it. Yes as a newbie writer I certainly look up to them and aspire to be in their shoes one day (figuratively, not literally. I have huge feet, no one’s shoes every fit my feet). I hope that they know that their writing as inspired me, made me a better writer and maybe most importanly a better person.