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Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Author Insight: Books with Influence

What do you feel is the most widely influential book you’ve read in the last few years?

"Widely influential? I assume it's whichever book ending up being read by the greatest number of people, though I have no idea which one that would be. I read the Game of Throne books last spring, so probably those?" - Dan Wells, author of Fragments. 

"In general? For all people? For me as a writer? As a person? Each one has a different answer, but I guess for me as a writer it would have to be Julie Halpern’s Into The Wild Nerd Yonder. Maybe an odd answer, but it was the book that gave me the courage to explore writing contemporary—something I’d been afraid to do beforehand— and writing contemporary has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done as a writer." - Natalie Whipple, author of Transparent

"Unfortunately, I read 50 Shades of Gray, which seems to be influencing people everywhere." - Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed

"Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. This is the book that comes up most when fellow YA writers tell me what influenced them, and I can see why. It’s a rare voice, raw and gutsy, and the authentic characters and the daring plot push the reader to new levels of awe and excitement and discomfort. If you’re a YA reader and haven’t read this book yet, you have a hole in your life that must be filled." - Nova Ren Suma, author of 17 & Gone.

"That’s a tough question, I’ve read a lot of great books in the past few years. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness had quite an impact. There was something very original and brave about the way it was written and produced. That kind of innovation – done with real substance, with an honest story at its heart – is always inspiring. Ness did a similar thing with A Monster Calls which also surprised, impressed and affected me on many levels." - Dave Cousins, author of 15 Days Without a Head.

"I'm in love with Gothic horror right now. Ever since reading Frankenstein with my class, I've been crazy for atmosphere and melancholy." - Suzanne Young, author of The Program.

"Influential is hard - I am a completely compulsive reader, so I read for pure pleasure and because I can't stop myself. I read trash, high literature, classics, novels, memoirs, history, the backs of my credit cards if desperate. But I never read things only because they're good for me. One of my favorite books of the last year though was the Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer. I can't get enough minute details about life in the past." - Emma Carlson Berne, author of Never You Let Go

"I guess the easiest answers are to use the books that have redefined the YA-writing scene. The mega-hits have opened doors for publishers to take chances on so many novels that would have otherwise gone unpublished and unread. They’ve shaped the landscape the rest of us navigate, so they’re definitely the biggest influences. However, asking which book was the most moving or enduring would yield a completely different answer because those are often the quieter books that wouldn’t have been possible without the mega-hits." - Josin McQuein, author of Arclight

"I can’t name one because I’ve read so many awesome books recently, but I can say that the most influential ones are those with strong, distinctive, jump-off-the-page voices. Unique, authentic voice gets me every time. The talent of some writers is inspiring. And disquieting." - Scott Blagden, author of Dear Life, You Suck.

"Personally so or culturally? Hunger Games really impacted me as a writer and reader when it firstcame out. I also recently read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, which might not be new but is still relevant. His words are wise and highly quotable, whether you are Christian or not." - Lindsey Leavitt, author of Going Vintage

"Lois Lowry's The Giver is the most thought-provoking and heart-stopping book I've read in many a year.  Its simple language makes it accessible to a fourth grader, yet its ideas and sentiments are better suited to older kids and adults.  I consider The Giver the most important children's book of my lifetime and one of the few written in the 20th/21st century that will live on as a classic forever." - Lois Ruby, author of Rebel Spirits

Find out next week how the authors make themselves write 
when they aren't in the mood.

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