Thursday, July 17, 2008

Writerly Influences

Tip of the Day: If you’re writing and find yourself in a slump where everyone is smiling (I smile, she smiles, we smile) or every line ends in he said/she said, pick up a YA book that you like and see what kind of tags that author uses.

Continuing with our week of favorite authors I thought I’d share the authors who I not only love to read but want to be more like (writing-wise. Although they are all super cute too and dress really well so taking fashion tips probably wouldn’t hurt me either.)

My top three all-time favorite authors that totally influence me and I must read every single thing they write including grocery lists because hey, sometimes grocery lists are fun:

#3 Meg Cabot

Of course Meg Cabot! She’s the YA chick lit goddess of all time! She is not only an idol to many, many YA writers but to her gazillion readers. Em already did a marvelous job outlining all the wonder that is Meg so I’ll just stick to some other reasons to love her. 1) She gives a killer book signing. OMG—total pro. Hands down best book signing I’ve been to. She’s just so darn funny! And so good in front of a crowd. I hope I’m even a tenth as good as her when I start doing book signings!

2) She wears really cute dresses. Refer to picture above. 3) She lives in lots of great places. I love that she has a place in the Keys, NY, and a place in the MidWest. If I’m ever super duper like her I’ll totally do the same. But I’ll probably do Keys, LA, Paris, MidWest. 4) I love that she didn’t pub her first book until she was 30! It seems like so many authors in our biz are pubbing younger and younger so she was inspirational to me personally. Like I could say, well look at Meg Cabot. She’s a super star and she didn’t start pubbing until she was 30! 5) She is the QUEEN of the Vlog. Really. You’ve gotta check them out. Here’s one. And 6) I love her adult books too. I haven’t tried writing humorous books for adults yet but if I do I’m going to study Meg’s first.

#2 Sophie Kinsella

I know, I know, she isn’t a YA author. But this is my Writerly Influence list so I can have anyone I want! Seriously, Sophie introduced me to Chicklit. She personally called me and said hey K, check out my chicklit. Ha, I wish. But she did produce super funny novel after super funny novel and made it so that I can’t walk by a new Sophie Kinsella novel in a store without buying it immediately. Pretty good huh? Sophie first had me at Can You Keep a Secret? It opens with the main character on a flight and the plane is experiencing turbulence. She thinks she’s going to die so spills all of her deepest secrets to the dude next to her. She lives and goes to work the next day to find that dude is the CEO. Awesome. Sophie taught me the importance of having a great opening to your book. Then of course there is her Shopaholic series with the brilliant Rebecca Bloomwood—one of the best main characters ever. If you haven’t read this series you must find some time and do it—it’s fantastic! From this series I learned how cute and fun it was to throw unexpected things into your story—like she has Becky writing letters to her bank (each time she is having money troubles and needs to borrow) throughout each book. So funny.

And coming in as my all-time favorite author…

#1 Lauren Myracle

What can I say? She had me at ttyl. I just loved, loved, loved that series and was sad that it had to end (Are you sure the girls can’t IM their way through college Lauren? And then, you know, husbands and kids and menopause. Please?). I love her style and I know that no matter what Lauren Myracle book I pick up I won’t be disappointed. Each one is reliably wonderful and fun. She has a super cute Web site and fun blog and she’s so friendly and approachable to all of her readers—which is a really awesome quality in a writer. I met Lauren in person not too long ago and she is just as sweet and cool as she seems. I also like to study Lauren’s middle grade novels since she handles writing for that age so well. I’m still working on my first middle grade so her books have been a great example. And finally, she does all of this while being a mom which I find personally inspiring.

So that’s it for my list of authors who are not only my super faves to read but who influence my writing. Which authors do you find influential in your writing?

Kristina, Miss Soon-to-Pub


Emily Marshall said...

Okay, I love everyone on your list. I think we are reading buddies, since we seem to like similar aspects in books.

And I love that you mentioned how these big name authors don't have big heads and are still so approachable. I think that's an amazing quality to have as a super-star author.

Kristina Springer said...

Totally reading buddies!

And I didn't even know Meg had adult books until you told me. And then I was hooked of course. :-)

DeenaML said...

After Kate and I met Lauren, well, I loved her, too. And I just got an arc of her newest book, BLISS! My first arcs sent to me from a pub company as a librarian!

Emily Marshall said...

Tina, yep, I love Meg's adult stuff, too. I even like her old romance novels written under Patricia Cabot. I think she could write anything and I would read it.

Kate Fall said...

Ooooh, I love Lauren Myracle. It was so fun to meet her. I think she did an awesome job on her IM novels and that was really inspirational, to see someone break the mold like that and have it come out so enjoyable to read. I've read most of her novels now and must steal Deena's ARC when she's not looking (j/k Deena ... sort of).

Kristina Springer said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH DEENA!! Can you hear me dying of jealousy over here??!!