Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Books to Inspire Me

I think I'm going to start putting the quotes at the end of my posts rather than the title. I don't like that they don't go with the posts very well. Not that anyone probably but cares, but if you DO notice the change, that's why.

So yesterday I had fun reading about everyone's favorite characters and decided to continue the theme. Today I want to talk about books that inspire me. I have to start with the inspirations for Nature Lover, but I will go on to the books that just make me want to put a pen to paper. Some of them won't come as a shock to anyone who read yesterday's post, but here they are. All the names are links to their Amazon pages so if they intrigue you, feel free to check it out.

Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent
This series is a big influence on my WIP, since they follow the same basic model. A teenage girl doesn't know the truth about what she really is. She finds out and havoc happens. OK, so it's a classic premise in Urban Fantasy but it's good, and fun to write. And read. I also liked that it dealt with a type of spook that hasn't been overdone, a banshee. It's what gave me the idea to work with less-than-common beings and even make up one of my own.

HP Mallory I could not possibly pick one book by her so I chose her whole collection of works. ;) I love her characters and though most her creations are somewhat conventional they still seem so real. And her ideas of the things that go bump in the night forming their own society was definately fodder for my "Otherworlders." Had a hard time coming up with a name that wasn't already used and gave up, but since these first two influenced my work so strongly, I figured ths was one thing I WOULDN'T get from there.

Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash
Is he a vampire, a dragon, or both? I never made up my mind and this creation, the Drakhaoul, was where the idea of creating my own thing instead of existing within what is already out there was first born.

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson)
I was distraught when Jordan announced his illness. I was inconsolable when I read he had died without finishing it. And I was incoherent when I found out they were still going to finish them with his notes and some of the work he left behind. I started reading these books way back in 1993, and have hung with the series through 13 books and 18 years. Each book is over 800 pages and it's still not nearly enough time spent with these beloved characters. They are so real and flawed that you can't help but love them. Every last one of them has some insecurity, no matter how cocky or arrogant they may seem. I feel like these guys are part of my family because I have been involved in their struggle for so long. I am excited and sad that the last book will be out in the fall and there will never again be another book by Robert Jordan. That weighs more heavily on me than any other thought, that this gift is gone. To say that his work has and forever will influence my writing is the understatement of the millennium.

Whispering Series by Linda Welch Another new imagining of creatures that inspired me. While I don't care for her idea of ghosts, I respect her for going non-traditional approach to it. A character I could believe in and a story I enjoyed.

Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith Long before there even was a CW, Damon Salvatore was wrecking havoc on my pre-teen hormones. She inspired me to experiment with darker subject matter and added so much depth to my stories it really moved them out of children's books into adult fiction.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper Forget the horrible bomb Hollywood made called The Seeker, this series of books is worth a read even for adults. Will was my first fiction character crush. This series was the catalyst for me to start writing and the reason I gave Harry Potter a chance, honestly. It was true then and it's true now that I love the idea that there is magic in this world, even if I can't see it.

So that's a very abbreviated list of books that really get my juices flowing. What about you?


  1. I am so with you on Vampire Diaries. I was totally team Damon and it ruined me for the good guys when I realized there were delicious bad boys out there. hahaha

    It is hard for me to think of specific examples. I want to say Dresden Files because I love Jim Butcher's tone and menagerie of characters.

    And as much as I dislike the series I will say Twilight. I remember reading it and thinking "if work like this can do this well then why am I so scared to let people read my stories."

  2. It saddens me also, that Robert Jordan had passed away. Marion Zimmer Bradley is my favorite and she had passed before I picked-up her first book.