Welcome to week three of Writer Wednesday. For this week’s ‘author who inspires me to write’ I have chosen *insert drumroll here* – James Rollins.
Now I came across James Rollins about 5 years ago. A colleague read ‘Map of Bones’ for her book club and thought I would like it. She was right. I hadn’t realised it was the second book in a series at that stage and was given the next book in the Sigma series ‘Black Order’ for Christmas.
Five years on I own all the Sigma series and am eagerly awaiting the next. I have read the books a number of times but my biggest problem now is I start reading them and it makes me think about how I want to write, that I want my characters to be just as real as I find his to be as I get lost in his world…which generally means I trot off and end up writing. It makes reading just that little bit harder.
I have to admit that it’s not just his writing that makes me look up to James as a writer, it’s also the kind of person he is too. He talks with his fans, I’ve talked with him on twitter a few times, and he even follows me (I still squeal about that fact). He’s generous with his readers and completely engaging. And he gets to travel around and visit the places he writes about. He’s the kind of author I aspire to be one day.
I absolutely recommend his books (I’ve made at least 5 people Sigma addicts in my time.) I absolutely think you should give him a follow on twitter or like his page on Facebook, once you are done.
His every book captivates me and inspires me. So Mr Rollins if you ever read this post, thank you for the stories and the inspiration.
As a random aside because I just thought of it, years before I even knew who James Rollins was I created and named a character. Safia Crowe (Safia for Sapphire and Crowe because I was obsessed with birds at the time), imagine my giggles when I read ‘Sandstorm’…
Welcome to my second writer Wednesday blog – Today’s inspiration for me as a writer – Stephen King.
Now that is probably no surprise to most people, and it is not unlike a lot of other writers I know.
I can’t recall the first book of his that I read; I do know the first movie of his work I watched was IT. I remember it quite clearly. I was at a friend’s house for her birthday sleep over. I think we would have been twelve at the time, it was three in the morning and we decided that it would be a good idea to watch a scary movie. We were all snuggled up on the couch and floor together, I think there may have even been some hand holding. What we didn’t realise was that the birthday girl’s cute older brother had snuck into the room and just as Pennywise was about to do something terrible hands came around me and a voice whispered in my ear, “Don’t get scared now.” I, of course, screamed. Everyone else screamed. He laughed until it hurt. Then we all ganged up and hurt him some more. It left a lasting impression, and even now that movie is scarier because I can recall that moment of fear.
Right….book….writing…. I’ve read a lot of Mr King’s work. Some of it I haven’t been so in to. Other books have sucked me in. The Dark Tower books did that. ‘Salem’s Lot did that too… actually ‘Salem’s Lot really got under my skin, so much so that when a newlywed Justine was left at home while husband Alyn headed down to Wellington for work she forced best man Bryce to come and stay with her and keep her safe so she could keep reading and was able to walk around the house without total heart failure in the dark. I can’t be sure but I think Bryce might have taken advantage of my fear to jump out and go boo at some point one night. My friends are good like that.
The book that has most inspired me is Stephen King “On Writing” no big surprise there. I purchased it back I think in 2005 or 2006 and read it straight through, having done that I sat down and wrote the first draft of Eiridis in six weeks. I loved the way his book was written and what he was saying. I especially loved the closed door concept. And it is something I really need to do again. Close the door, literally or figuratively and write. I can achieve amazing things when I do that. I did that for Nyssa’s Tale and managed to do 40,000 words in less than two weeks. The key was to lock out the world. Okay I didn’t lock it out completely but I was on holiday at a lovely motel in Auckland for part of it, and limited internet meant that I mostly just kept Sam in my IMs and stayed away from twitter, facebook, and all the other websites I chat on and waste time on. I think that is a big key to getting things written and finished…remove the distractions. That was something Stephen King taught me, among many other things. He also inspired my love of having stories cross over, characters make cameos….and once you start reading more of my/our work you’ll see just how much I love that concept.
So Mr King, thank you for the words, the help and the inspiration. One day I hope to say thank you in person.
So writer Wednesday is not a new thing in the world of social media but I’ve decided to do my own take and try every Wednesday (or at least most) to post up something about a writer that has inspired me in my life. There are A LOT of them. Working out where to start as of today has been the hardest part. The list is long and there are many names on it, some it has just been one book that has inspired me, others it has been whole series or every book of theirs that I have managed to lay my hands on. The list ranges from the living to the dead, local and abroad, children’s writers to dark tales of erotic horror (you might have correctly guessed by that one I mean Clive Barker).
Today I decided to start with Isobelle Carmody since I recently purchased ‘Obernewtyn’ for my best friend for her birthday to introduce Sam to this world that I have been reading and re-reading for a long while now.
I first discovered Isobelle Carmody when I was much younger, I think I was twelve and I had broken my elbow ice skating. I was in cast from my wrist to half way up my upper arm after tripping over a large crack in the ice and falling hands first and making my elbow do this nifty trick that it really wasn’t meant to do. My Aunty sent me ‘Farseekers’ as a get well soon present. I had no idea it was the second book in the ‘Obernewtyn’ series and I devoured it. Having finished, I read it again. I loved it and I was hooked. It was many years before I managed to get myself the first book and now own all those written and am eagerly awaiting “The Red Queen” which I believe is due out this year.
I have read other books by Carmody but by far ‘The Obernewtyn Chronicles’ are my favourite. Set in a post-apocalyptic world after the Great White (nuclear holocaust), life has reverted to a more fantasy setting, or a dark ages one. And the effects of the Great White still hold the lands in their grips, and the people. The Great White has produced Mutants that are reviled and hated by those who are not (of course, having said that as with any plot like this not ALL normal people hate them of course but I shan’t say who they are or I might start giving things away), those who rule hate them more than most and of course we have the fundamentalist religious people who take things above and beyond. The story centres on Elspeth Gordie who is one of my favourite characters of all time. She is a mutant, she is a strong mutant, and she is a strong woman….even if she forgets that sometimes.
Now this isn’t a review and this isn’t me going into detail on the story and the characters because honestly I would be here for a million words and still not even close to all my thoughts on said story and the characters who I love so much. This is just meant to be about me naming an author or writer who has inspired me. So there you have it. Isobelle Carmody and her ‘Obernewtyn Chronicles’ inspired me. She was one of the reasons I started writing at age fifteen, and every time I sink into her world I am inspired again and captivated. I want to create the kind of worlds that others get lost in as I get lost in hers.
So if you ever read this Isobelle, thank you.