The first book I remember that changed my life was LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS. It’s the first time I remember wanting to BE a character in a book. I wanted to be Laura. I pretended to be her all the time. From those books came my lifelong interest in the American West. The first book I ever wrote and published was a western.
The next book that changed everything was SHADOW OF THE LYNX by Victoria Holt. Adventure, mystery, an exotic locale. This gothic got me hooked on them and as a result, I’ve always gravitated to the darker stories and the first person point of view, which led to my writing BLUE MOON.
THE STAND by Stephen King led me to horror novels–vampires and werewolves and ghosts and firestarters. I loved them all and I wanted to write about them too.
MACBETH showed me that classics didn’t have to be boring. Shakespeare is funny and sad, joyous and tragic. The language is beautiful, lyrical, memorable. There’s a reason his work is still taught, performed and enjoyed. He’s a classic because well . . . he’s a classic.
GUILTY PLEASURES by Anita Blake enthralled me. Two heroes that neither Anita nor I could decide between, a kick butt heroine with a smart mouth, another world that existed parallel to the one we know in a familiar midwestern city. I couldn’t wait to write something similar and The Phoenix Chronicles were born.
LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase had a hero that broke my heart, a heroine who was so fantastic I wanted to be her (I still do) and situations that were so fresh and new I couldn’t stop reading the book. I still can’t. That book gave me a pinnacle to shoot for in my writing. I’ll probably never reach it, but it gives me something to aim at.
ONE FOR THE MONEY by Janet Evanovich sent me searching for other books that could make me laugh so hard I cried. Until I discovered Evanovich I can’t remember reading for the pure pleasure of laughing and nothing more.
What books have changed your life?
I’ll be giving away three autographed ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) of ZOMBIE ISLAND, my take on Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, with vampires and werewolves and zombies–oh my! Three winners will be chosen at random from those who comment today.