We've just wrapped up a huge family reunion. Thirty-five family members were in town and it was up to my mom, my sister-in-laws and me to shelter, feed, and entertain them for two days. We had a great time. I'm tired.
We did a lot of talking and during one of the family chats my cousin's boyfriend asked me what author influences my writing most.
That should be an easy question to answer, right? But I just stood there, for an awkward amount of time, trying to think of someone. I couldn't.
There are hundreds of authors who I admire. I would love to be able to write quirky stories like Roald Dahl, or laugh out loud funny scenes like Shannon Hale, or gorgeous prose like Markus Zusak. But I don't think I write like any of them.
When I first started writing I tried to mimic the voices of authors I loved, but the results weren't good. I probably wasn't good enough at writing to make it work. My words felt like a lame attempt to write like people who could write. It wasn't until I finally decided not to try so hard, just to tell a story in a voice that came naturally, that writing became fun.
Even though I don't have that one author I'm trying to emulate I hope that all of the books I've read influence the way I write. I've read some really great books. I hope they rub off on my writing, at least a bit.
How about you? Do you have one author who influences your writing more than anyone else?
And I just want to say congratulations to the beautiful and talented Elana Johnson who announced her book deal on Friday! If you don't know her, you should. Her blog is a must read for writers. Plus, she's super cool, and possibly the friendliest blogger out there.