Please welcome Tracey to the blog everyone!
I hear a lot of writers say they started writing while still in their cradles. Okay exaggeration there but you get the idea. They always wrote, they always wanted to be a writer and that is all they really wanted to do.
Well not me.
I hated English in school, with a passion. Mind you, I’ve always been a reader, but I hated technical construct that went into learning about sentence structure, verbs, adverbs, propositions and pronouns. I was a math and science geek from way back. Nothing was more torturous for me than having to write an essay. I’d sit there looking at the blank page having no idea what to write. So having failed English at school – how did I become a writer. Answer – my love of stories and books.
There have been a few books, and we all have them, that have not exactly changed my life but changed the way I viewed books. The first book that transitioned me from a child reader to reading more adult books was William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES. I was eleven or twelve at the time when I read it, my first year in High school. And OMG it blew me away. It wasn’t nice and the children didn’t go home for tea after a lovely trip to upside down land like they did in Enid Blyton’s ENCHANTED FARAWAY TREE series. No these boys turned wild, hunted pigs and even committed murder. I just couldn’t go back to childish books after that.
My father was an avid Wilbur Smith reader and we had a shelf of his books. So I picked up the first – MEN OF MEN. I was soon transported into the world of colonial Africa. I went to war with the Zulus, hunted elephant and went on many adventures with the rugged Sean Courtney – I think he was my first crush. I wanted to go to Africa so bad, still do, because of those books.
A couple of years later after I had devoured every single Wilbur Smith I could get my hands on, I saw a movie called Carrie. Apparently it was a book, and the book was better. So I picked up this book and soon found a new love -- Stephen King. He scared the living daylights out of me, and I loved it. Even now I can’t walk past a street drain without fear of some insane clown grabbing my ankle and dragging me down to my death. As with Wilbur Smith, I began to read everything I could.
Then I discovered fantasy. All my husband’s fault. He gave me THE MAGICIAN by Raymond E. Feist and again I couldn’t get enough of Midkemia or Kelewan through Janny Wurt’s DAUGHTER OF THE EMPIRE books. So I tended gravitate towards authors I guess as we all do. I read other things as well, sci-fi, classics, contemporaries, historical. I have read widely, but none of those books had as much an impact on me as the authors I’ve mentioned. Well Maybe Kurt Vonnegut.
Today there are so many to choose from, so many books. Nalini and Keri Arthur were such an inspiration to me as a writer. Not only did they write really great books, they were from downunder—Keri the Aussie and a Kiwi Nalini. In fact one of Keri’s earlier releases, the Ripple Creek werewolf series, was the first paranormal romance I read.
Then I discovered writing — caught the bug, so to speak. Unlike when I was in school, I found I actually liked putting words done on the page. I love learning how to structure the sentence to have the most impact. But the down side is I don’t have as much time to read as much as I used to. I really don’t think you can be a writer you must be a reader. When I am stuck, I read and that tends to bring back my muse.
Is there any one or more authors that have really influenced what you read or changed your approach to reading?