Friday, March 27, 2009

How Our Favorite Authors Influence Us

Everything we read influences us. Everything. You can disagree and argue with me all you want, but I stand firm. Everything we read runs around with all of the other stuff in our head and enhances our knowledge.

So naturally, I am a firm believer that our favorite authors have a tremendous influence on us. One of my favorite authors (if not my absolute favorite!) is Stephanie Laurens. She writes Regency period romance novels, and yes, her books have influenced my writing.

I don't write Regency period romance novels, nor do I write in a similar style as Ms. Laurens. However, I am drawn to the traits the main characters always possess. The heroes are protective and honorable. The heriones are courageous and intelligent. I also love the workings of the ton and the depiction of what it was like to be wealthy and upper class in Regency England.

Witley court
Photo by stevepj2009

Who influences your writing? Have you thought about why you're drawn to a certain author over and over? The next time you pick up a familiar author's book, ask yourself why. Explore what it is about that particular author that keeps you coming back.

It might surprise you to learn that you don't love the plots but adore the prose. Or maybe it's the attention to detail, the setting, the time period, or the suspense that you love.

You can look for authors you haven't read based on your findings. I originally thought I loved Stephanie Laurens's books because of the time period, so I began reading other Regency romance novels. I did find several authors who I liked, but in the process, I realized that I'm not drawn so much to the time period as to what the author does with the book.

Songs from Spring Angels
Photo by permanent_daylight

How does this affect my writing, though? When I analyzed what I love about certain books, I quickly saw a common theme. An exclusive love, honorable characters, and rich drama all have to be present for me to love a book. What do you think I make a conscious effort to include in my own books? That's right--an exclusive love, honorable characters, and rich drama.

Delve into what you love about your favorite books. Then write down what you discover and make sure to include it in your own writing.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I have to clarify that Stephanie Laurens also writes books set in the time frame around the Regency period. She does not write exclusively Regency period novels. They're all wonderful though!

  2. Hi Jill,
    I will have to check out Stephanie Laurens and let you know what I think!

    You are right about authors influcing the way we write. When I find a really great book or author, I tend to analyze it to figure out what I especially like about that author's style.

    Deeanne Gist is an author I like, particularly her Bride Most Begrudging. I have gone back to that book numerous times to look at her writing style. While I'm not trying to copy her, I am trying to find out what appealed to me so that I can also appeal to my readers!

  3. Thanks Jody, for recommending Deeanne Gist's books. I've added her to my "new author's to try" list.

    I'm also a huge fan of Julia Quinn and Eloisa James. They, along with Stephanie Laurens, write historical novels that appeal to me.

    One disclaimer--the books aren't "inspirational" so please keep that in mind. Although I write inspirational, I happen to enjoy reading a wide variety of books.

    Thanks again for stopping by!


I love to hear from you!