I know everyone has at least one favorite author; the person whose books you go back to over and over again. For writers, these are the people who inspired you to start writing in the first place. You hear this everywhere, and I believe it to be true, you cannot be a writer without first being an avid reader.
As I have been seeking my path as a writer, one of the things I did was to sit down and think about my motivation. I came up with two writers I believe are my biggest inspiration. So who are they?
My first inspiration has to be Jane Austen. I know she is a romance writer, and I do not write romance, but her wit and dry humor have sustained me for as long as I can remember. She was able to paint a picture for you without an over-abundance of dialogue which I love. I also love the fact that she seemed to disdain every facet of society equally while understanding the importance different social ranks had in everyday life. In fact, one of my favorite quotes from Austen is:
There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.
I found in Jane Austen a person ready to give her bad opinion of people in general, with a polite twist. So you see, she is about much more than romance. In fact, I can’t really think of another “romance” author I enjoy reading.
If you really want to see how dark Jane Austen can go, check out Mansfield Park. This is by far my favorite of her books.
If Jane Austen is one of my favorites, you must be wondering who else I go to for inspiration.
My second inspiration is Agatha Christie. I love how she pokes fun, even at her heroes. Just look at how she introduces Hercule Poirot, one of her most famous detectives:
I came across a man in Belgium once….. He was a funny little man, a great dandy, but wonderfully clever.
How can you not want to read on and be introduced to this character?
Another great thing about Agatha Christie is how she can give you all the clues you need, and still surprise you half the time. Plus, who wouldn’t love a woman that can create a series based on an old spinster who is able to solve crimes and puzzles?
To really get a taste for how Agatha Christie can weave a story, check out The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
Obviously, these are not the only authors I enjoy, In fact I could probably bore you with a list of about 10 more, but these two ladies were the ones that made me stop and say, I want to write like that. Not necessarily the same types of stories, but I want to be able to draw people in the way they can. These are the authors I find myself returning to on a regular basis. Every time I feel defeated or stressed, I can read one of their stories, and feel alive with the desire to write again.
Who do you go to for inspiration? It doesn’t have to be an author, just someone who continues to give you motivation. Let me know in the comments.