Monday, June 28, 2010

My Idols

I wasn't always a reader. I started out with the mindset that I read enough with my school work that I didn't want to read for fun. But then around 12 years old, I discovered Laura Ingalls Wilder. Well, it wasn't a hard find really, I was watching the Little House series on TV. So I decided to check out the books and I fell in love. While I was reading Laura's tales, I also discovered Judy Blume. "Blubber" and "Are You There God, It's Me Margret?" were favorites to read. I ventured into other YA reads of my middle grade years. One I read several times by high school was Judy Blume's "Forever".

In high school, I was introduced to V.C. Andrews by a friend. I started with "Flowers in the Attic" and couldn't put her books down. I inhaled them all. And when I ran out of her books to read, I started over with "Flowers". I was quite sad with Ms. Andrews died, for I thought that meant no more books. But thanks to a ghost writer, her stories continue. Though I don't find him as good as her, they are still good in their own right.

I've read stuff by different authors as I grew older...the likes of Jackie Collins, Catherine Coulter, Dan Brown. But much as I liked their books, nothing beats those of my idols.

My idols being Kit Berry, J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. I think it will be fair to say I will be able to add Marion Zimmer Bradley to the list by the time I'm done with her books. Rowling weaves the tales of young witches and wizards and magic in a way I can only dream. Tolkien brings elves and dwarves to life, and wrote in such a way I could actually envision Middle Earth. And Kit...her tales of Stonewylde are so vivid that again I could visualize the scenes as I read them.

I have much to learn about writing. I'm always too worried about if I'd be doing it right or wrong. Should I plot or fly by the seat of my pants? Should I worry so much about showing more and telling less? How can I build my world and my characters into believable entities?

I can only hope that one day I will be even a smidgen of the greatest my idols are.