There are a lot of books in this world that have influenced me in one way or another-- in my writing, in my perceptions of the world, etc. But there are two particular authors who have influenced my writing, and not just through their books.
And I was lucky enough to go meet them both again at a book signing on Saturday.
Brandon Sanderson is an author I have loved since I read his first book, Elantris. Last Christmas, my husband bought me his most recent book-- and it was signed, which always makes me happy. In addition to the signing, my husband told me Brandon was teaching a class at BYU the next semester, and anyone was invited. Thrilled at the prospect, I went. And it was one of the best thing's I've ever done for my writing.
Not only did I get some of the best writing advice from Brandon, but I learned about the publishing industry. I was motivated to write more than I had in years, and rediscovered my love of it. And I decided I was going to seriously pursue this dream of becoming a published author.
The other writer who influenced me that I saw on Saturday is Dan Wells, author of the amazing I am Not a Serial Killer. Last April, I attended the Storymaker's Conference and signed up for a hardcore early-morning bootcamp critique group. Each group was led by a published author, and Dan was my group leader. Thanks to him (and the great group members like Angie!), I learned a great deal about my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. It was another pivotal moment in my writing.
To my surprise, Dan remembered me at the signing. Apparently, I asked him the most interesting question he's ever gotten in a critique group-- I asked if a character with red hair was a cliche. Like my MC in the work we were critiquing. We decided that the hair was fine, but if she was "spunky" or if it was just used as her single defining trait, it was definitely cliche.
The things I learned from my experiences with these two authors helped shape my writing. So, friends, what about you? What authors, experiences, or books have shaped you as a writer?
P.S. Many thanks to Madeleine from Scribble and Edit for the Creative Blogger Award!