It's fair to say that every writer was a reader first. It's equally fair to say that every writer will always be a reader at heart. We've all got a list of books that mean something to us and we all have authors that we would describe as our favourites but as an author I think it's fair to say that the authors I read have taught me so much. I wouldn't be an author today without some of the people on this list. Some inspired content, some inspired the imagination whilst other's inspired my style of writing. So here is a little thank you to some of the authors that have changed my world with their books and in turn have made me into the author that I am and the author I hope to become. This list will probably confuse the hell out of you. It's going to seem a bit random with everything from Dr Zeus to Jane Austen.
I start with Dr Seuss because this is where I first fell in love with words and stories. Dr Seuss stole my imagination away to a world completely beyond anything I'd ever known before. I struggled when I first learnt how to read. I've never been very patient and found it very frustrating. That is until my father gave me a Dr Seuss book for the first time. I'll always smile when I think "one fish, two fish..."
After Dr Seuss another author caught my heart with a story that stretched out throughout my childhood and adolescences. J.K. Rowling took the imagination the Dr Seuss had opened up and exposed it to a magical world of delight. She inspired me to learn more about the mythology she used within the pages of the Harry Potter series. Not only that she taught me about good and evil and right and wrong. She taught me that we should always offer people a second chance even when they've done the worst things imaginable. She taught me that the most valuable and powerful thing we have is love. She showed me the importance of family and friends Rowling taught me a lot with her books and at times broke my heart doing it.
At the age of twelve I first read Pride and Prejudice. I struggled through it with the aid of a dictionary but loved it no less as a result. I quickly followed it up with Austen's other books. Jane Austen is to this day is my favourite author. I love the way she introduced me to a time in history that was seemingly very romantic (or at least that's how she made it seem). I love her style of writing and can only hope to write as well as Austen one day. Austen taught me what I deserve from my own relationships too. She taught me not to settle for anything short of love.
Another author who shaped my childhood was Meg Cabot, the amazing author of The Princess Diaries. As a teen I read every Cabot book I could get my hands on. I'd spend my lunch break in the library so that I could read the Princess Diaries or I'd sit in the playground reading her books. My dad loved how much I loved reading and so would regularly buy me more Cabot books. In fact nearly every other week I'd get a new book from my dad. We'd go for a walk into the town centre and we'd always find ourselves in WHSmiths where I'd find several books I would want all with a three for the price of two label on them. My dad loves a bargain and so would always give in quickly and I'd walk away with a bag full of books. Cabot made reading more than just a hobby, she made it my way of life.
There are so many authors that belong on this list. Another author that belongs on this list is M. C. Beaton. I love historical romance and Beaton does it better than most. She has a habit of making me squirm with my hands over my eyes as I read the absolutely insane situations her heroines get themselves into. She taught me the value of tension and conflict within a love story. Love isn't really love until it has conquered something be it a situation or perhaps even a part of the person in love's character. Yes, love really should change us.
Perhaps my favourite author at this time, Sylvia Day has written a series of books that I completely adore with characters that will possibly never leave me. The Crossfire series is without a doubt the best series of books I have read in my adult life. I love these books. Gideon Cross is a man like no other and the way Day charactorised him was not only clever but deep and meaningful. His character was hot and attractive but also deeply scared and broken - and I loved him. Day has taught me that my characters make or break my story. If I don't take the time to share their weaknesses, their strengths, their loves and hates, my story will have no true depth at all. A story without characters is not a story worth reading.
Another author that has taught me a lot is Deborah Bladon. Her books are some of my favourites and I have a lot of respect for her. She's self published just like me and she's been publishing her own work for the last two years. She's a very talented author and I absolutely adore her. If I can be as successful as Bladon in the indie book world then that will not just make my day but maybe my life.
There are a lot of authors who could be added on to this list. Nadia Lee for one recently challenged me with her most recent book and of course I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the author of the Divergent series Veronica Roth. Not to mention that I adored Roald Dahl as a young girl. Every book I read touches my soul and every book I love has probably destroyed my soul just a little. Every author has changed what sort of reader I am and have inspired me as to what sort of author I want to become.
An eclectic collection of Hanleigh's thoughts and ideas about near enough anything and everything. After all isn't that what blogging is all about? Having all your thoughts, dreams and ideas in one place?
Hanleigh: an avid reader but a beginner when it comes to writing.