Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blog Chain - Reading Obsessions

Blog chain time! I've been so excited for this post, because I get to talk about the books I love to read. The AWESOME Christine started us out this round asking:

“Which author or authors have most influenced your writing and how?”

You'll all be surprised to know that being the Urban Fantasy junkie that I am, the writer that has most influenced me has nothing to do with my genre at all. Bernard Cornwell writes historical fiction; my two favorite series being THE WARLORD CHRONICLES which gives a fresh spin on the Arthurian Legends, and THE SAXON TALES which centers around King Alfred's resistance of Danish invasion. Mr. Cornwell's writing strikes a chord with me. He writes the most honorable, heartfelt, complex, and strong protags. Granted, they're all men, but I aspire to write my female protags in much the same way. I also bow down to Mr. Cornwell as a writer because he taught me how to write a battle scene. My female protags are fighters! They can wield a sword or dagger with the best of them. I learned from his books about sword fighting, the gruesome details of battle, and the warrior's mentality. I can honestly say that when I received the revision notes from my agent, she didn't touch my battle scenes. And I have to admit, I am damn proud of myself for that!

Another writer who has influenced my writing is Anne Rice. Her fearless exploration of the dark and taboo only served to enrich stories woven with some of the most beautiful descriptive passages I've ever read. The woman was a vampire powerhouse before vamps were en vogue! A true Urban Fantasy Pioneer! She took literary flare, family saga, fantasy and psychology and wove them together to create books that have no comparison. I love Ms. Rice's writing so much, that everything I write has a secret little homage to her!

In my own genre, I have many loves. Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, Ilona Andrews, Jeaniene Frost, Cheyenne McCray, Lilith Saintcrow, Caitlin Kittredge, and on the YA side, Melissa Marr and J. K. Rowling just to name a few. All of these talented women have taught me a thing or two about writing kick-ass heroines and writing tension that keeps a reader enthralled come hell, high water, laundry, kids, work... well, you get the picture! ;)

Be sure to check out Michelle's post before mine and Sandra's tomorrow to find out what books distract them from real life and fuel their creative lives!

16 comments:

lbdiamond said...

Great list! And bravo for the green light on your battle scenes! So cool.

:D

Sarah Bromley said...

Great post, Amanda. You do write a hell of a battle scene, and it's cool to see where that comes from.

Cole Gibsen said...

I'm with you! I've been obsessed with martial arts and samurais for forever! I researched all the historical aspects to death and my fights scenes were never touched in the revision process, either. If anything, my agent had me add a couple more :)

Christine Fonseca said...

great list! And I love a great battle scene.

nomadshan said...

Bernard Cornwell's WARLORD series has been on my to-read list for a long time. Cool that you were able to apply his techniques writing men to writing your female characters.

Mandy said...

Shannon:

You've GOT to read the series! :D It's sooooo good! My all time fav. I actually own two copies. One that I refuse to crack the spines on... and one that I read and re-read!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Those are great choices! I love Patricia Polacco and William Steig. :-)

Steven Till said...

Cornwell can certainly craft a battle scene. He's been one of my greatest influences in writing as well. I'm almost done with the Saxon Chronicles. Just have the last book to read. I still need to read the Arthurian books. Actually, the series that got me hooked on him was The Grail Quest series. Have you read that one?

Mandy said...

Steven, haven't read The Grail Quest series yet, but it's on my list! I still need to read the last book in the Saxon Tales, too. I have a lot of reading to catch up on!! :D

Steven Till said...

Me too. The list just keeps getting bigger. Doesn't feel as though I'm cutting into it at all.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Oh, nothing beats a good battle scene. Kudos on being naturally kick-ass! Thanks, also, for following my blog. Glad I found yours - following!

Eric said...

That is so awesome, about your battle scene not needing revisions. Great list of influences too. I agree with you completely about Anne Rice.

B.J. Anderson said...

Ok, definitely checking out Bernard Cornwell. Great list!

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Oh wow. I suck at battle scenes. I definitely know who I need to start reading!

BTW, my word verification was "relocula" which made me think it was a vampire relocation service.

Michelle H. said...

Cool list. Sorry I'm so late. Been up to my eyeballs with work. Truly, battle scenes seem to make or break a story and it's a great thing for you to have such a knack at writing them.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

That is cool that you aspire to make your female heroines as strong as the male heroines you've read and loved. Great post!