Thursday, 22 May 2014

5 Favourite Books ... Kind Of

by Linda O'Toole

I thought and thought about the 5 books that inspired me to be an avid reader and want to become a writer.  After thinking and thinking and nearly burning up all my brain cells, I could not come up with just 5 books, but I could come up with a list of authors that have inspired me, below are a just few of them.

Agatha Christie –There was just something about her inspector and his antics that drew me to the books when I was young and inspired my imagination to generate stories.

VC Andrews – the whole series of Flowers in the Attic – I could not wait to get to the next book to see where the story was headed.

Anne Rice – Lestat hooked me.  The story was so well written that it sucked me in and made me stay up late to finish.  Then I was hooked and had to have all of the Vampire Chronicles

The list goes on and on.  Stephen King, Danielle Steele, Jackie Collins, Mary Higgins Clark, and most recently all of those authors who belong to the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada.

The commonality in all of the authors I read is their ability to hook me at the first chapter and keep me engaged until the very end.  Their characters are so well written you can see them in your mind, you feel a personal connection to them and you want to know how their story ends.

Although I do not buy many paper copies of books these days, I still search for new books in the same way.  First and foremost the cover or the title needs to gets my attention, then the synopsis needs to be written well enough that I have to have the book and I immediately download it.  If I like the book, then I will find more by the author and purchase those.

The author does not have to be a New York Times bestseller to peak my interest in their work, and they do not have to have other books published.  It is the writing that draws me in.  In this day of self-publishing the world is treated to many wonderful authors that we may not have been offered the opportunity to read if they went the traditional route.  I have found many new authors to add to my favorite reading lists this way.

I have always wanted to be a writer, but it was one of those things that got put on the back burner while life got in the way.  From an early age I had an active imagination and made stories up about the people I had seen while I passed the time in line ups or while sitting and people watching.  Some of my favorite authors would influence the type of stories, and they would also influence the kind of characters I would make my muses into.  I still like to do this.

This weekend while sitting on the boat at the Marina I watched as a lot of people arrived to go out to race.  There was one particular group of sailors that caught my eye and my imagination started inventing a story for them.  Who knows these guys may be part of my next story.

I am sorry that I did not take writing seriously over the last couple of decades, because now I am trying to write down all my remembered stories and characters and I feel a need to capture every one of them to my own detriment.  While sitting down to capture one remembered idea a new one pops into my head and I have to write that one down.  I find it very difficult to make myself sit down and finish one.

The other thing that influenced my delay of taking my writing seriously was that I believed authors lived in exotic places and lived exotic lives.  Whenever I heard a story about an author, the story was always about how they lived the life of a recluse on a deserted property or lived in an exotic location.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered and joined the local writing group to realize I had read and truly enjoyed many of their books!  I will be forever grateful to those amazing women for the inspiration, help and encouragement.

The time to start getting serious is now, all my excuses have been proven useless.  Who knows maybe someday, 30 years from now and if I am truly blessed, when someone is asked to blog about authors they have read and liked my name might appear somewhere on their list.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your list! Especially VC Andrews and Stephen King ... big faves too!