where the writers are
Under the influence?

So I'm here at Red Room now, and I'm supposed to identify my authorial influences.

I hesitate. I hesitate, because I don't know.

I can tell you which authors inspired me. Anne Tyler's amazing novel BREATHING LESSONS taught me that a book can be about ordinary folks and still be extraordinary. I have re-read Ann Beattie's LOVE, ALWAYS a dozen times or more to admire its simplicty and wonder how it is that such weird people described in such few words are so compelling. I received a hand-me-down copy of Raymond Carver's WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE as a teen-ager and I was riveted and in awe of how these stories could hook me so. S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS just bowled me over. CATCH-22 left me awestruck and it's still my favorite novel ever.

Did they influence me? I don't think I sound like these writers, and I don't think they sound much like each other. I suppose they might have left their mark on my work, but would it be noticeable? And if so, isn't that the same as "derivative"? I'm also influenced by journalism, which is my day job. I'm influenced by my own life events and my children, by world events, by stages of life as I pass through them, and by weird things I overhear as I go about my day.

I think it would be easier for other people to answer that question for me based on what they read. But, not knowing my entire reading history, they might name authors I've never read. That would be interesting to know, come to think of it. Then I'd have to make sure to run out and read them.

What about you? Who are your influences?

Comments
5 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Welcome Kris!!

I'm so GLAD you're here at Red Room! You're a great addition.

I hate the Influence question too. My list here at RR is just plain odd -- and would probably be completely different if I answered it today instead of a couple months ago.

Comment Bubble Tip

Well...

...look who's here! Lovely to see you, Kris. Your writing sounds divinely and perfectly like Kristina Riggle.

Comment Bubble Tip

The writers that I have read

The writers that I have read over the years are wide and varied.  I always wonder why we have to be compared to another writer or asked what we read.  I like the blog. Yvonne OotsI love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. Peter de Vries

Comment Bubble Tip

Yay! You're here!

Great blog. I let that part of my Red Room page go for weeks because it's hard for me to answer that question, too. Call me crazy, but sometimes I think my writing is more influenced by music than books.

Also - count me in as a MEGA Heller fan, too.

Again - Yay! You're here!

www.as-king.com

Comment Bubble Tip

I think my influences are

I think my influences are large doses of caffeine, turpentine fumes, and soldering flux.