One of the pieces of advice that I have heard when you are a writer is that you need to be reading what others are writing. This has never been an issue for me because I love reading. Actually, I fell in love with reading when I was 11 years old. That was the year that I broke both my arms at the same time (I fell from a swing). At 11, daytime TV can only hold some much appeal and after the Price is Right; I was usually left with my own boredom. One of my mom’s friends gave me a stack of Nancy Drew novels and Little Women, and I can honestly say, my life was changed. I am still to this day extremely jumpy (thanks Nancy Drew), and Louisa May Alcott showed me what it was like to travel to another time and place through words. I loved Little Women so much that I read every single book that she put out. In those pages, I found women who were strong, independent and kind. All qualities that I wanted to be when I grew up.
Top Picks: Gaiman & Sanderson
Books have that power to take you from your couch to any number of worlds. And those are the books that I tend to favor. Two of the best authors, in my opinion, who transport people into a new space are Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson.
Neil Gaiman has reached rock star status for an author. He has had his fingers in every type of literary pie. His website states that “He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living postmodern writers and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.” I love Neil because of how his books make me feel. It’s like trying on someone else’s skin, living a full life and then learning more about yourself through the process. I always end his books with a bookish hangover. I can’t help but go over scenes in my head and sort through all the emotions that bubble up. If you get a chance, read The Graveyard Book and American Gods.
I also love Brandon Sanderson. Where Neil makes me feel things, Brandon makes me think. I was introduced to him when I was explaining to a friend that I loved science fiction and fantasy but hadn’t found an author that could grab me in some time. They then handed me Elantris, and it literally introduced me to a whole new world. Sanderson’s writing is rich and complex. His stories rarely deal with simple ideas and will cover the socio-economic complexity, religions, and political factors of the worlds he creates. His writing sucks you in and makes you want to live in that world forever. Make sure to check out Elantris (one of his few stand-alone novels) and Mistborn.
What authors do you love? Who’s writing gives you goosebumps? Leave your comments below!