As a writer, I am developing a deeper love of reading; I know, I didn't know that was possible either but I'm so glad to be proven wrong. So now when I read things I am struck by various writers in different ways.
Here's but a short (and not the all) list of writers who I want to emulate as I work on my own stories:
Laurie R. King, in her Mary Russell series, has blown my mind in how she unabashedly wields her large vocabulary and complex sentence structure to reinvent and flesh out an older Sherlock Holmes in a new century.
Jill Shalvis and Richard Paul Evans in their ability to build flawed characters and build conflict between two people. (Though I'm not the biggest fan of romance, I'll read Jill Shalvis material because she nails it.)
Jennifer Cruisie, Katie MacAlister, Jim Butcher, and Kevin Hearne because they are in rare form every time I read what they write. They are amazing storytellers but most of all they make me laugh. Almost any book I pick up from them is a treat and I trust their name on the cover will be a safe bet.
If I want to grow as I writer I must keep filling my tank up with inventive, creative, and better writers than me. It's also a great excuse to continually read more. I'm always on the lookout for other great writers and when I find them, I'm not shy about extolling their wonderfulness to others. There's nothing better than recommending a book to someone and when they come back they have the same glint in their eyes that I have about reading another great story.
Do you have trusted authors that you reach for time and time again? Why? I'm always got an open ear for "undiscovered" authors, well ones that I've never read before.
To relishing in a great story,
~ the writer
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