I’ve been very lucky these past couple of months to come across some great authors who are not necessarily new, but are new to me.
Earlier this fall I read Susan Carroll’s The Dark Queen, a light and entertaining fantasy romance cleverly disguised as historical fiction. Close on the heels of that getaway, I opened up Robert Aickman’s collection of supernatural short stories, The Wine Dark Sea. Now after my recent brush with greatness, I have sunk into the vibrant world of Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Lions of Al Rassan.
Three authors, three voices, three very different approaches to story telling. Yet all of them have succeeded in drawing me deep into their world. They’ve also reminded me that the excitement of finding a new author is very much akin to the high of new love. Perhaps the response has precisely the same neurological roots in our brains – a sudden release of endorphin that gets all the gears buzzing in new and compelling ways. Whatever the explanation, the effect is wonderful — and a big part, I suppose, of why I keep reading.
Writers are commonly asked what other authors have inspired them. I’ve often understood this question as, What authors do you strive to emulate? But in exploring the works of Carroll, Aickman, and Kay, I’ve come to realize that inspiration is not always about emulation. More often – and more effectively, I think – it’s about the kind of story telling that gets one’s own stories spinning in our heads. These three authors have done that for me, in different ways. Concurrent with all this great reading, I find my energy and enthusiasm renewed for the final stretch of Daughter of Aithne.
After a long hiatus, the characters are “speaking” to me again. Last week, I topped 90K words on the manuscript, and I am more hopeful than ever that we might see the release of this novel by the end of 2015. Just thinking about it makes me want to stop writing this blog post & go back to the novel!
So that’s what I’m going to do.
Ah, the effervescent energy of new love!
I have an author interview up this week at The Masquerade Crew. Please stop by to check it out, and comment/ask questions if you’re moved to do so.
Also, my amazing editor and fellow author Terri-Lynne Defino has written a very interesting post on Heroines of Fantasy about the persistent lack of representation of women in fantasy fiction.
I will not be available this week on Goodreads Ask the Author, due to a Global Health conference that I’m attending in Costa Rica.
Have a great rest of the week, wherever your current adventure may lead!