Half-way there already? Wow! I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 15 days! w00t! I hope you all enjoy it. 🙂
15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!
I know it says ‘a’ writer, but I can’t just talk about one. I absolutely love Jhumpa Lahiri, Miranda July, Alice Munro, George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Trudi Canavan, David Eddings, Mark David Gerson (and a couple class-mates I had Chaz and Ryan-great guys, great writers). I believe we can learn something from every writer, even if they aren’t “the best.”
I truly admire Ms. Lahiri, as she is a phenomenal, amazing, amazing, amazing writer. No really! She’s great. I love the way she writes, her stories just come alive on the page, and you feel like you really know these people, every aspect of their life. She’s one of the great talents we have. Every time I read something by her, I feel I get smarter (and knocked down several hundred pegs).
Miranda July is again fantastic, she’s got such confidence as a writer. I open her stories and just fall right in, no matter how crazy they may be. It’s a gift she has. No matter what happens on the page I just go right along with her. I still need to learn from this great lady!
Alice Munro is a no-brainer for writers to read. She’s practically won every single award ever made for English writers. I read only one story from her before picking up a collection of hers. And that story was truly crafted and amazing, covering a woman’s entire life from childhood to death. What I’ve recently read feels so natural and normal, like these pieces are true stories about real people, if not important people. But because they are so ordinary and like everyone else, we feel so connected. I don’t think I’ll ever hold a candle to her, but I know I’ll be learning a lot!
I’ve recently fallen in love with George R.R. Martin’s writing. I started with The Song of Ice and Fire and I was hooked. I love the way he weaves a story together. I’ve never read better fantasy or science fiction. I read a collection of his short stories, and the man is amazing. The stories just draw you in. I’m currently reading A Feast For Crows and like his other books, they way he tells the story is beautiful. We are given just enough to know more than most characters, and they are so life-like, the story tells itself.
I can’t write this list without including Robert Jordan. While he is long-winded as a writer, and a bit tangental, I just marvel at his world-building. Everything in his world feels real, exactly as it should be. There is so much going on with his Wheel of Time series that I don’t think I could deal with as a writer. He is so good at characters that he just makes more, and they all feel real (some more than others). I don’t think I’ll take plot lessons from him, but he’s got strong characters.
I have to include Trudi Canavan as well. I haven’t read anything from her recently (though it is on my list). I love what she does with world-building as well. She works in a smaller space, and does excellent work. Her characters are also just so believable. I love what she has done. And the stories she writes are engaging. I really want to read them again.
David Eddings is my last ‘major’ writer. While I didn’t like a particular series of his, I fell in love with the Belgariad and Mallorean when I was in high school, and I think that helped me choose writing. I think my favorite book he wrote is Polgara the Sorceress. He is a master of creating history for his world. He has living history walking through his books, and as my story has a similar root in history, I think I learned a lot from his writings.
I adore Mark David Gerson, and his writings. He’s one of the largest influences on my own writing method. If you don’t follow him on twitter or facebook you should! He is very encouraging, and his book Voice of the Muse is a wonderful writing companion. I highly recommend it!
And now for a shout out to Chaz Funnel and Ryan Cheshire. I miss hanging with these kids. Both a great story tellers in their own right and helped keep me sane in my last semester at UNM. Great readers too!