Probably the most difficult question to ask an avid reader is “What is your favorite book?” Even the alternative “Who is your favorite author?” can rarely be narrowed down to just one. But, if you ask a writer “What book influenced your writing the most?” you might have a smaller list. Let me emphasize might. What do you say?
For me, that list does get a bit smaller. Being an avid reader, I’ve come across many fantastic authors, but I can name two books that have greatly influenced my writing.
On October 6, 1847, a novel entitled, Jane Eyre, was published in London, England by Smith, Elder & Co. The author was then known as Currer Bell, which was the pen name for Charlotte Brontë. Jane Eyre captured me from the first page and I could not put this book down. Though there are several themes throughout the book, I believe the core is the love story between the governess, Jane, and her employer, Mr. Rochester set at Thornfield Hall. The passion of these two characters kept me hooked and the torment they both suffered kept me hoping there would be a happily-ever-after for them. (After all, I am a romance writer keen to see a HEA for all books!)
The next book I came across that captured my fascination was partially inspired by Jane Eyre. Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, published in England in 1938, became an instant favorite of mine. Again from the first page, I was captivated by her voice and her story. The whirlwind romance that leads to marriage between the main character and Maxim de Winter is just the beginning of the new life of the second Mrs. de Winter. While living at Manderley, she learns about her husband’s first wife, Rebecca, and the mystery surrounding her death.
Both of these novels are filled with romance and intrigue, a combination that makes for a wonderful page-turning book. And both are written in first person point-of-view which has become my favorite viewpoint to read. These novels are also considered to be among the group of gothic romances that originally became popular in the late 18th century and continue their popularity even today.
Because I’m an avid romance reader and an ex-bookseller who still loves recommending books to others, I will add some of my other favorite authors in no particular order. Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Lynn Kurland, Gayle Wilson, Deborah Simmons, Claire Delacroix, Elizabeth Thornton, Katie Macalister, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. Okay, these were just a few… What or who is your favorite?
And on July 21, 2010 please check out my debut release, The Witch and the Wolf, a paranormal regency romance.