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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.
“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
INSPIRATION FROM READING
From early childhood we've listened to stories and imagined ourselves in that world. It got even better when we learned to read and could lose ourselves in books we chose. Animal stories, adventures, mysteries like Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys fired our imagination.
A few weeks ago I read a blog - I don't remember whose - about the difference between plagiarism and inspiration. We all learned in school we must document or acknowledge in some way words taken from another writer. However, we can and do get ideas from our reading. I read once that a famous mystery writer (I won't mention her name) doesn't believe in reading because it might affect her writing, change her voice or some such thing. That might be why after reading three or four of her books, I grew tired of her protagonist because she never seemed to grow or change.
Although some writers do try to copy famous writers - think how many vampires there suddenly are, or quirky, wacky clones of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum - most writers who get inspiration from books they've read put their own spin on it. Like what Gregory Maguire has done with fairy tales with Wicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and other books. Or how some writers have taken characters from books from the 19th century and used them in a different way. Laurie R. King did a fine job with her Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series.
Inspirtion from other authors has been around since books were written. I'm not sure where P.G. Wodehouse got his idea for Bertie and Jeeves, but I do know Dorothy L. Sayers read and enjoyed Wodehouse. Even before I read her biography, I saw similarities between Lord Peter Wimsey and Bertie. Both were of the upper class (common in books of that time) both had exuberant personalities, and both had manservants. Sayers may have been inspired by Bertie and Jeeves, but she changed the characters significantly. Lord Peter is far more intelligent than Bertie. He served in WWI and suffered from the experience, while Bertie never had problems that weren't silly and usually of his own making. Both of their manservants were helpful, but Bunter is totally devoted to Lord Peter with good reason, and Jeeves is rather contemptuous of Bertie. While Bertie fell in and out of love, those affairs never seem to affect him deeply. Lord Peter, on the other hand, had only one love, Harriet Vane.
Moving forward forty or fifty years to America, I see Lord Peter Wimsey in Jane Langton's Homer Kelly. True, he's not of the upper class nor does he have a manservant, but he has the same exuberant personality. Like Wimsey, Homer Kelly is intelligent (He's a college professor.) and inquisitive. Instead of a manservant, he has a wife who supports him and tones down his exuberance at times. And like Wodehouse, and Sayers to a lesser extent, Langton's books are delightfully funny.
As long as there are writers we read and enjoy, those writers in some way inspire the way we write and make us better writers. The three writers I mentioned are among my favorite mystery writers. I'd love to have Jane Langton's ability to describe characters in the unique way she does and her delightful sense of humor. Plus, her plot twists are pure magic. Have they influenced my writing? Maybe, but not obviously. It's more in recognizing what exceptional writing is and working toward achieving that goal in my own voice and style. I'm grateful there are so many good books to read for enjoyment and inspiration.
What writers do you particularly enjoy and admire?
What about their writing strikes a chord with you?