I was tagged by Raw Dawg Buffalo and for once, it wasn't the 25 Things About Me Tag. I have a REAL hard time divulging 25 things that people don't already know about me. That would require telling some real personal stuff I don't want floating around the world wide web, you know? But this tag...I really liked. I never really tell anyone about the writers that were/are most influential to me as a person. I believe they shaped how I viewed things as a child and helped me with my writing as I grew older. The list isn't 25 names long but they're just as important. I'm supposed to tag some other folks once I'm done listing the writers...we'll see if I have time! Enjoy!
1. Stephen King - I started out watching his movies and the movies were so good to me that I looked for his books every chance I got when I went to the library. My favorite movie by Stephen King, hands down is Cat's Eye. They should really do a remake of it. And this was the first horror film my dad let me watch. I've been addicted to them ever since.
2. Anne Rice - She's VERY detail oriented and I started out watching the movies of her books too. I fell in love with Interview With A Vampire and HAD to read the book to see what I missed. The movie did the book justice but any fan of the movie should read the book. I still think that the best book she ever wrote was Merrick. Her son is a pretty good writer too. He doesn't write about vampires at all but his books are quite engaging and true to life. His name is Christopher Rice. She also writes under the name A.N. Roquelaure, which her sadomasochistic erotica novels are written under.
3. Roald Dahl - I was given some books as a kid and the authors were Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. I endeavored to read anything and everything they both had written. My favorite book by him has ALWAYS been My Uncle Oswald. At the time, I didn't know that the book was SOLELY about sex. I had to be about 11 or 12 when I read it and thought it was the greatest thing ever. I would read it every year and when I was in high school, about 16, I realized, I had been reading about something my parents had no idea. That's when I found out, Roald Dahl wasn't always a children's author. LOL
4. Beatrix Potter - This lady had a way with words that made me never want to put her little books down. She always taught lessons...valuable ones too. I fell in love with dirty squirrels because of her. Best book, in my opinion, was The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.
5. Shel Silverstein - I guess you could say this guy is my contradiction when it comes to poetry. He just had a way with rhyming that led me to believe if poetry wasn't fun, I didn't want any parts of it. As I grew older, poetry seemed depressing and it took the fun away from me reading. Reading was a favorite past time for me because it allowed me to escape from reality. Hence, why poetry, as an adult, hasn't been one of my favorites. He had a limerick kind of style and it kept me fully entertained, especially when I was trying not to pay attention to life. Where the Sidewalk Ends arrested my attention more than I care to admit.
6. Lewis Carroll - I was a weird kid growing up. I had to see things logically or they just didn't make sense. I read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass over and over trying to figure out what Alice's damn problem was. Things that just made sense, she never wanted to accept. She always took the round about way to get things done and she used to upset me to no end. I figured if I kept reading it, I'd figure it out. What I did figure out was that everyone must find their way in their own due time...even Alice.
7. Laurell K. Hamilton - I stumbled on this author when I was about 20 or 21. She writes about dark creatures like wererats, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, etc. But they are normal people like you and I; living, working, sleeping amongst humans. Sounds weird but HIGHLY entertaining. I've read one of her books in 2 hours because they are just that good.
8. C.S. Lewis - I've been told this guy was too intense for children but...he writes books for children. Go figure! I liked him because he made me think and form opinions on my own. Granted, his books are laced with symbology tied into Christianity but it's still a good read nevertheless. I liked how he tied in fantasy with his lessons he was trying to teach. Best way to get a kid to read anything...make the animals talk! LOL
9. Tananarive Due - Fell in love with her writing style after reading The Living Blood. She tells a story well and leaves you wanting more. I mailed this book to my dad and it took him forever to give it back. I think he was trying to steal it. He now has the other two books of this series, My Soul To Keep and Blood Colony. I'm still waiting for him to return those.
10. James Baldwin - Back in 2003, I was bored out of my mind one day while I was at work and was going through things on my bosses desk. I happened to pick up some papers and out fell Devil Finds Work. I LOVE film and he was pretty much tearing it a new bunghole but...it wasn't done in a way that turned me off to what he was saying. While I didn't agree with some things he was saying, I was lured in by his manner of speech. I did some research on him and found that he was also an activist AND a homosexual...long before it was cool to be so. He died of cancer when I was about 7 but I am glad his writing has lived on. Very articulant and intelligent guy.
11. Richard Wright - I actually went to school with this guys grand kids (he might have more but I only knew these 2). I will always remember them as the red-haired geniuses. Everyone called the grandson Vee because he was the 5th Richard Wright and the granddaughter was tall and had this voice that was like scratching sand paper but I thought it was the most awesome voice for a woman...considering I sound like a teenager when I talk. LOL Anyway, I will admit, I read his books in high school because I knew his grand kids to be quite bright, I figured I couldn't go wrong. I asked them if it was weird that their grandfather was part of a literary canon...to them it was no big deal (or at least that's how it seemed). I experienced a momentous time in my life thanks to his granddaughter (and inadvertently his grandson) so I will always attach Richard Wright to my own personal history. Black Boy was my favorite book from him.
My list is a little different from the typical Black/African Americans list would be because I don't have a lot of Black/African American writers listed; as a matter of fact, I only have 3. It isn't because I don't read Black/African American literature...it's more so because the genres that Black/African American writers usually stick to are relationships, hood life, and/or poetry. I'm a bigger fan of horror, fantasy, vampire, and graphic novels. I'm very detail oriented and that's what I like to read/see. So where most people HATE Stephen King because of his excessive attention to detail, that is the PRECISE reason why I started to like him as a kid. Doesn't have to make sense to you because these are MY favorite writers, not yours :)
So I won't tag anyone but who are some of your favorite authors? And why?