My husband suggested I talk about influences and I think that’s a great conversation to start. I hope you’ll join me in it. I’d never thought much about my influences until I started writing seriously, about a year ago. Before then, writing was something I did when I had nothing else to do and an itch in my brain to put words on a page. Now that it’s one of my biggest hobbies, I think about it a lot.
I think we have influences in different aspects of our writing. For example, S.E. Hinton is an influence of mine because her books made me think that I could write. She was so young when she wrote The Outsiders, and it made me thing that I could write when I’m young and that I could write something worth reading. I also love how she is able to portray male characters that men can relate to. It shows that you can write another gender and do it well.
Sonia said to me that she sees Hinton’s characters in my book and I was incredibly honored. I assure you the resemblance between Ponyboy and Johnny isn’t too strong (my character is a 1920s gangster instead of a Tulsa greaser), but that she was able to see the same strong male persona in my character was really heartwarming.
While Hinton inspired me to start writing and encouraged me to know I can write about men and boys, I don’t strive to emulate her style. Let me explain other ways I’ve been influenced
J.K. Rowling is another big influence of mine. I’m not just saying this because I’m a Potterhead, mind you (though I am). Rowling’s popularity showed me that the whole world can care about Young Adult literature and that it’s sphere of influence can extend well beyond the 12-19 age group. I know I’m unlikely to write something as universally appealing as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but knowing how seriously YA lit is taken today makes me feel more confident in saying I want to be a YA author.
Philippa Gregory inspired me to write Historical Fiction. I love her books about Tudor England and am awed by the way she is able to transport the reader to the time period so effortlessly, without explaining the way things are and letting them be. I always feel like I’m learning while I read her books and it made me want to read more and more and more historical pieces to learn and enjoy at the same time. So when I started writing historical pieces, I wanted to make my setting and characters seem as effortless. I want my readers to learn about the 1920s and fall in love with them as much as I have while researching my book.
I thank these women for making me want to write. It’s a coincidence that they are all woman, something I didn’t even notice until editing this piece. When I see their books on my shelf, I’m filled with confidence.
Who inspires and influences you? In what ways have you been influenced by other writers? Please leave me a comment and let me know.
Until next time, write on.