I'm one of those people that are both always writing something and always reading something. The thing about good books- they inspire not just feelings or ideas for my own writing, but the desire in me to write. They simply make me want to on my butt and work. Part of that is connection with the author. I want to make those kinds of connection myself. Part is competitive. Not in the sense that I want to be better than them or sell like them, (although sales are always nice.) When someone writes something that really moves me I want to write that well. It makes me want to improve. And I do.
It doesn't do to imitate. I can't take their phrases or their stories. They simply wouldn't work for me. Writing style seems, to me, to be like a pair of boots you have been walking in for years. Sure you can put someone else's boots on but they won't feel right and your gait will be off. What I can take is the energy, the force of voice and the depth of character that they bring to their writing. When the hairs stand on the back of my neck, I ask how did the author get me here? When I understand that the journey is not really the one across the landscape but the path through the main character's heart or mind, I need to know how.
Lately I have been reading a lot of Joe Lansdale's books- characters with the energy of a thunderstorm. You know what? I don't like modern day monster stories. Vampires in the real world, urban fantasy. But the V Wars series by Jonathan Maberry sucked me in. There are so many more that have inspired and shaped my writing. I mention those two because of the wonders of technology. The internet, or more specifically, social media has allowed me to reach out to those men and say thanks for the great books over the years.
It is one of the things that I decided to do when I started this blog. It would be so easy to post things about my own writing and books. Promotion is essential. But better for me is to acknowledge those that light fires for me. I'll continue to do that as I go along on this trip.
WHAT I'M READING NOW
The Deep by Nick Cutter.
I'm at 50% and loving it. Scary good read. This isn't supposed to be a review. This book doesn't need my review it's a hit. This is just a reader saying this one works for me. It makes me want my books to work for someone this well. It makes me keep trying.