As writers, we all read a lot (and if we don’t then I don’t think we can truthfully call ourselves a writer, since to be a writer you are continually learning, and to learn you need to read – but enough of my soap-boxing). I’ve spoken about the things that inspire me while I’m writing a novel: music in the form of novel soundtracks, images used as brain fodder, poetry and movies and the like. But what inspires me to write in the first place?
Novels. Books. Literature. Extensions of emotion in the written form – whatever you want to call them.
Now, I can’t pick my absolute favourite. To me, being asked to choose my favourite novel is like asking a mother to choose their favourite child – it just isn’t possible. That may not be the case with all readers or authors, but it is with me. I’ve kept every single novel I have ever read. They may not be in my bookshelf, but they’re around somewhere. I just can’t bare to part with my books.
Following is a list of the books that have inspired me to write, each in their own special little way.
* The Mallory Towers Series by Enid Blyton.
I’m sure I read picture books and other small-chaptered works when I was a child, but the Mallory Towers novels really stand out in my mind as the books which ignited my passion for both reading and writing. I have such wonderful memories of these novels: I re-read them over and over until the pages turned grey from my fingers feathering the edges. They will always have a special place in my heart.
* The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
The most recent book I’ve read to make it to the list (I read it for the first time last year), this is perhaps “The Novel” that has greatly inspired my current WIP. Granted, I had two drafts done of my novel before I’d even read this book, but McCarthy’s brutal honesty and his simple, yet poetic prose is what has shaped my little novel into the story it is today. If I had to pick a favourite – if my life depended on it – then this would be the book.
* Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
This is the one novel I can read over and over again and always get something new from it. I don’t read a lot of straight romance, but Austen’s novels never fail to inspire in that regard (for me, anyway). This is a classic romance told with the decorum of the times, with a strong female lead who was perhaps ahead of her times in her boldness. Also, I simply adore Mr Darcy and want one of my own!
* The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee.
Karen’s novel opened my eyes to Australian literature. Much of what I had read before reading ‘Wings’ had been written by either American or British authors, and Karen’s simple and precise writing is the reason I seek out so much Australian talent now – because we ARE a talented writing nation and the world needs to recognise this! If you have not read this novel, you are missing out.
If I pick any more I’ll have to list my entire bookshelf, because once I start talking novels it’s pretty hard for me to stop!
What are some of your favourite novels? What inspired you to write?