Monday, November 19, 2018

Veteran writers I have learned from

I have, throughout my life, had many long-standing writers I have followed and learned from. In elementary school, I sought books by Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Lucy Maud Montgomery and Farley Mowat. I also enjoyed anything from Gary Paulson and James Howe. When I reached junior high, I fell in love with the writing of Alice Hoffman, S.E. Hinton and Christopher Pike. These have all been authors I have continued to follow, and love, and learn from as I became a college student and adult. In more recent years, as I began writing middle grade and young adult, I’ve come to follow authors such as Sarah Dessen, J.K. Rowling, Maggie Stiefvater, Ruta Sepetys, Raymond Chandler and Tawni O’Dell. There’s also a smattering of local authors I follow, and of course my writing and critique partners who encourage and inspire me year after year. I discover new writers and authors every year, my stack of to-reads is sort of the never-ending gobstopper that Dahl cleverly wrote about in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Through following our favorite authors, we see their writing styles hold steady with the familiar prose we love, and we often see them grow and change and enhance in both plot, character, world-building and construction of sentences. By always searching for new authors and writers, we keep our minds open and see different ways a novel can work. Or perhaps not work – not every style will fit every writer, and that’s okay. I hope my writing reflects the same, that I never stop learning and expanding as a writer. That my words get better and better as life goes on. Happy Reading!

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