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Influences

As a child, my favorite authors included Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle In Time), and most especially Judy Blume (all of her books, especially Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret).

Roald Dahl’s books were absolutely stupendous and my young imagination loved to visualize the zany characters, especially in James and the Giant Peach. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I strongly identified with the little boy, Charlie. I, too, was raised in a poor household, and I could easily imagine how my life could change forever if I came across a golden ticket in a bar of chocolate. Even if I never entered Willy Wonka’s kingdom, I sure felt I had, because I had gone there in my vivid imagination through books.

L’Engle’s Wrinkle In Time piqued my imagination something fierce! Even at the age of ten or so, I could envision falling through wormholes in the galaxy. This probably contributed to my early experiences of spirituality and seeking.

Judy Blume influenced me greatly as a preteen. She inspired me to become a writer, actually. Ms. Blume was the very first author that touched me so deeply that I actually wrote a letter to her – longhand, through the postal service, and via her publisher. I can still remember the day that I received her handwritten reply, an autographed picture of her and a personal note to me. That was the day that authors became real people!

Erin Reese’s Bookmarks