Let the Sparks Fly
Christine over at The Writer Coaster is hosting the Sparkfest blogfest this week and challenged us to share the book(s) that ignited our writerly imaginations and doomed us to be writers.
Well, technically, the first thing I remember writing on my own was a spin-off of the Three Little Pigs when I was about five. I even bound it in “hardcover” with scraps of black cardboard.
But the real credit for sucking me in as a true-to-the-bone, no-turning-back, writing-is-like-breathing author goes to Anne McCaffrey. I loved her Dragonflight so much in grade school that I refused to return it to my school’s library at the end of the year (they let me keep it!). Since then, I’ve devoured a number of her other Pern novels, but Dragonflight holds a special place in my heart.
It was the book that first made me dream of other worlds, whose characters I wanted to be, in a way that made me want to craft my own. I wrote my first piece of fan-fic based on it — a cringingly naïve and lovable tome that shall not see the light of day — and there was no turning back.
Soon after, I had the opening chapters of my very first original WIP. A story I still hope to get back to someday, though I’ve already pulled bits and pieces into my other work over the years.
Robert Jordan and M.M. Kaye also had a major impact on my writing. M.M. Kaye, in particular, taught me about the art of subtlety, stakes and far-reaching scope. Her style is completely different than my own, but I adore her use of language. And, yes, yes, I know there are two opposing camps on Robert Jordan. Just count me on the “love” side and be done with it. :)
Together, these three authors showed me how truly powerful stories can be. To this day, I still look to them for inspiration. So, wherever you are, guys…thanks…more than you can know!