By Annette Dashofy
Last week, one of my critique buddies posed a question to me. She asked me what author has most influenced me. Or something to that effect.
I’ve given it some thought and I still can’t narrow it down.
For one thing, I have one list of authors who influenced me as a READER and another who influenced me as a WRITER..
Looking back, my favorite authors were an eclectic bunch. I loved F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck. I also loved Zane Gray westerns. At some point, I discovered Phyllis Whitney and Mary Higgins Clark and that was the big transition for me into suspense and crime fiction.
When I try to determine which author most influences me as a writer, narrowing it down is impossible! Laura Lippman, Lisa Scottoline, MJ Rose are high up on the list. And of course, Nancy Martin! But Robert Parker is on the list, too, along with Daphne Du Maurier and Jodi Piccoult. Most recently, I’ve become captivated with the writing style of Chris Grabenstein.
And to prove that my tastes remain eclectic, I’m deeply enamored with the wordsmithing of Tom Robbins and Hunter S. Thompson.
I guess, if pressured to pick just ONE author who has, over the years, had the deepest influence on me I would have to choose…drum roll, please…
As a kid, I checked out every single one of his books from the library. If the library didn’t have one, I saved my pennies and bought it. Just a few years ago, I stumbled across a paperback version of The Black Stallion at a flea market and snatched it up. I’ve even suggested that my own veterinary mysteries might appeal to grown-ups who read Walter Farley as a kid. So far, that claim hasn’t gotten me a publishing contract, but I steadfastly maintain that it’s true.
So now that I’ve pondered and deliberated and come up with ONE author who has most influenced me, it’s your turn. And if you can’t narrow it down to one, I’ll accept lists. What author has most influenced YOU? As a reader or a writer. Or both.