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Thursday, October 11, 2012

More Author Insight: Important Influences

What book or author has most influenced your writing and/or storytelling style?

"I’m not sure any one author/book ever has, because I love so many different writers and read pretty much every genre on the planet. I think that’s probably why I write stories that contain a bit of everything." - Sara Walsh, author of The Dark Light.

"J.R.R. Tolkien. It's a bit of a red flag to admit this, but my stories have no hobbits or dark lords in them, I promise (though possibly some elves). I really like the mythical quality of his writing and his depth of world-building." - Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar.

"The most practical writing advice I’ve ever read came from John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction and Becoming a Novelist, and Stephen King’s On Writing. My books are set in late nineteenth century Russia, so before sitting down to write, I read and reread translations of Tolstoy to get a feel for the language and sentence structure of the time period." - Robin Bridges, author of The Unfailing Light.

"If you mix Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Tom Robbins together and add a dash of Catch-22, I would say that’s the cocktail I drink before I sit down to write." - A.S. King, author of Ask the Passengers.

"About 50 pages into writing my first novel, my husband gave me Stephen King’s book, On Writing and I learned so much about basics, like not over-using adverbs and dialogue tags and to focus on the story and not obsess over fancy prose and elaborate vocabulary words. That was great for someone like me to hear because I didn’t study writing, I didn’t even finish college and there were times when I thought, no way could I be smart enough to write a book. Having someone like Stephen King say that simple writing can be just as beautiful as complex writing gave me the confidence to continue." - Julie Cross, author of Tempest and Vortex.

"The world of Middle Earth is what got me writing in the first place. After re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s, I immersed myself in the Silmarillion, trying to learn everything about everything. It was shortly thereafter that it occurred to me that I could create my own worlds, so I went upstairs that evening and started writing. Middle Earth was so rich, and though I doubt I will ever create a world so deep, I still always go back to it." - P.J. Hoover, author of Solstice.

"I don’t know how much Nicole Krauss shows up in the final product, but I will always aspire to include the importance of memory in my stories like she does." - Lara Avery, author of Anything But Ordinary.

"Well, for me, it's the Brothers Grimm. I try to emulate their simple, matter-of-fact telling of insane and magical events. The second most influential writer for me is Roald Dahl. He did sly narrator before anyone of the contemporary writers did; the opening to Matilda is the best opening to a kids book ever. Well, second to the Brothers' Grimm, 'Once upon a time, when wishing still helped...'" - Adam Gidwitz, author of In a Glass Grimmly.

"Since it’s impossible to choose one I would say Daphne DuMaurier, for long, lovely, and descriptive sentences, and Megan Whalen Turner, for brief, concise, and perfectly worded sentences." - Sharon Cameron, author of The Dark Unwinding.

"Roald Dahl definitely! When I read his work, I always feel that he wrote it especially for me. I love his dark, quirky humor." - Suzanne Selfors, author of The Sweetest Spell.

"It varies with every book. With Ash and Huntress, I was very clearly influenced by Robin McKinley. With Adaptation and its sequel, I actually think I've been most influenced by television, particularly shows such as The X-Files, but I've also been inspired by many thrillers and mysteries I've read, so I can't pinpoint one single author influence there." - Malinda Lo, author of Adaptation.

Find out Tuesday if the authors save bits and pieces of scrapped scenes to use later!

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