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There Is Nothing Impossible To Her Who Will Try

I tweaked Alexander the Great’s quote a little (the original has him instead of her), but despite all my trying I could not narrow it down to my all-time favourite book. Instead I chose a book I remember being so very excited about that I couldn’t stop boring a friend over dinner;).

Dream Man by Linda Howard (1994)

*stares fondly at cover*

Oh, the days when you didn’t need an image as your front cover. Anyway, I didn’t read the book until a few years after it had been published. At that time I lived in Germany and I had just discovered a way to lay hands on English language books. Not an easy feat at that time, let m tell you.

I read the book and remember turning the last page, lying back on my bed and staring at the ceiling with tears running down my cheeks. Not because the book was sad or I didn’t like it. But because it was over! I was back in the real world and no longer following Marlie and Dane on their adventure trying to track down a serial killer through Marlie’s psychic powers. I probably lay there for close to thirty minutes. Then I went back to the first page and read the book again.

A few days later a friend and I went for dinner. We chatted about everything under the sun and somehow ended up talking about books and reading. I chewed off her ear, gushing about the writing, the story, how amazing it had been to disappear into the world Linda had created and how I couldn’t wait to read more of her books. And my friend really wasn’t a romance reader;). Luckily she understood and we shared books we’d read and left the world behind.

I went on to read and re-read all of Linda’s books until a few years ago when she moved over to women’s fiction. Another one of my favourites is The MacKenzies. It saved my life on a long flight because the two stories sucked me under and made me forget I was 30,000 feet in the air. I HATE flying.

I haven’t read either of those books in a very long time, but they both moved to Canada with me. I am definitely seeing a re-read in my very near future.

Do you remember a book where you were surprised or disoriented to find yourself back in the real world after it ended?

Tina Christopher

Writer of Sexy Steampunk and Sensuous Sci-Fi available at Ellora’s Cave and Amazon.

Following the King

Becoming a writer isn’t easy. SURPRISE!!! I know you’re stunned. I was!

Reading is so simple, so wonderful, so engrossing, that I thought writing should be exactly the same. I should be able to lose myself in the world I created just as easily as I do those of my favorite authors. BUT, it doesn’t work that way. Writing isn’t just fun. It’s honest-to-god, back breaking, agonizing, sweat inducing WORK.

Finding the perfect words are hard. Creating the right characters is tough. Building a story is like building a multi-trillion dollar skyscraper–screw up your inner structure, and it’s going to come tumbling down like Jenga blocks.

When it comes to who my writing idols are, I wish I could make it look as easy as they do.

Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Catherine Coulter, Susan Donovan, all these women create stories that read so easily! They’re my favorite books to read, they’re fun, full of love, life and laughter.

But my all-time idol, the man who has inspired me over and over again since I was just a teenager, is the master of horror himself.

Stephen King got me interested in books other than my usual fare. Someone gave my grandmother a big box of books, and she gave them to me one day when I was staying with her for the weekend. There were lots of different genres in there–thrillers, contemporary novels, love stories. But the book that kept sticking out to me was DOLORES CLAIBORNE.

I read the first page countless times. The whole story was narrated! It was in first person! The story was told so deeply from her point of view, because she was telling the story as she remembered it. It was odd. Frightening at first, a little off-putting. But eventually, I got it. I realized how I was supposed to read it. And since that day, I’ve read that book a billion times. I worked my way through some of his other classics. CARRIE, PET SEMATARY, THE GREEN MILE, and MISERY, to name a few. God, I loved MISERY.

 

His book ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT inspired me to write my first mainstream novel (as Gina Lamm). And since then, his advice to write what you love, not what you know, has permeated my books, making them (I hope) much more driven and appealing.

So yeah. Stephen King is my writing idol. He writes 2,000 words a day, every day, no matter what. I need that kind of drive, that kind of persistence. And I know I can do it. He’s my inspiration.

Who’s yours?

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