Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who Do You Love? (or Under the Influence)

Tip of the Day: When you read a book and love it, email the author and tell them so. Even if the author is busy and can't reply, most totally appreciate hearing from you!

I was out of town when the other A2A Misses came up with the idea of discussing our Favorite Authors this week. Yes, it's a great idea, but ACK! I only had 2 days to figure out WHO my favorite authors are!

I forced myself to limit my choices to: The YA Authors Who First Influenced My Own Writing When I Started Getting Serious About It Four Years Ago (And I've Read Every One Of Their Books Since). (Yes, there are four authors. I still couldn't narrow it down to one.)

1. Sarah Dessen. Her novel THAT SUMMER hooked me onto all her work. She writes the novels I would've devoured as a teen. They are pitch-perfect, teen-toned, full of familiar feelings and situations with brilliant little details that weave together perfectly in the end.

2. Ellen Wittlinger. HARD LOVE hooked me onto her writing, and meeting her (at the Rochester Teen Book Fest 2006) made me adore her even more. I just picked up her newest, MARRISOL'S STORY from my own library shelf today and can't wait to dive in. EW's not afraid to tackle subjects that others shy away from (try PARROTFISH for an awesome look at a teen struggling with her gender/sexual identity).

3. Laurie Halse Anderson. Even if she hadn't given me a super helpful critique, and even if I hadn't heard her amazing talks to teens (at Rochester Teen Book Fest 2006) and to writers (SCBWI Fall Philly 2007), and even if all I'd done was read her book SPEAK, I would've adored her anyway. That novel gave me chills it was so good. You must read her blog and hear her speak if you can!

4. Carolyn Mackler. THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS attracted me with its hilarious title, then kept me reading with its humor and characters. It doesn't hurt that her home town is where I went to college. Her other titles have not disappointed.

You probably noticed that these are all contemporary, realistic, girl-centric fiction authors. When I was doing my "research" for Novel #1, it was a contemp, girl-centric, realistic novel that I was writing, so it made perfect sense for these to be the books I'd read. I'm so glad I did! Their influence continues to help guide my own writing (hopefully these authors will one day come to know this is a good thing!).

I have a huge spot in my writer's soul for some dark novels, too. In the future, I will mention them in a blog post bc as of late, they've been a huge influence on me.

What authors do you love who write the opposite of the typical genre you read?

Deena, Miss Recently Repped


Kate Fall said...

Hmm, great question! The only genre I don't read regularly is mystery/suspense. Except for Elizabeth Peters and Donald Westlake, because I really love them! Carolyn Coman has written some good suspense novels too.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Interesting - three of the four are Printz award winners/honor winners! :)

DeenaML said...

Kate, Carolyn Coman's MANY STONES floored me.

Lisa, I was going to mention their winnings in my post, but didn't want to make SD feel bad. :) J/k! But yeah, I was "taught" to read a bunch of winners in my genre also, so those were also reasons I grabbed those books.