Who influences me?

I write romance and romantic suspense, and while I do read both genres, I have to confess that the authors that most influence me, and that I most enjoy, are not necessarily in those genres.

I am a huge Lisa Jackson fan. I love everything she writes. She creates realistic characters, vivid settings, and intricate plots that hold you right up until the very end. In truth, her work largely inspired me to go beyond romance and give romantic suspense a shot. The idea of throwing my characters into danger came from reading, and enjoying, Ms. Jackson’s work.

Nora Roberts is another author that I really enjoy.  She’s very prolific, and she’s written so many different types: romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance. She writes under her own name, as well as the pen name J.D. Robb. It’s impossible not to love someone who’s able to create such a wealth of stories that she can sustain two different names!

Dean Koontz is another of my favorites. Like Roberts, he prolific and with such variety. I’ve read paranormal, suspense, and the occasional “normal” fiction from him. My ultimate Koontz favorite is Breathless. It’s an incredibly fascinating tale, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should pick up a copy and get busy.

My all-time favorite author is none other than…the great Stephen King. Whenever someone has told me they don’t like his work, I’m always completely flabbergasted. I don’t get it! How could you NOT like him? Even if you don’t like his genre or his work, surely you must be able to respect and admire him. How can you not be amazed by a man with the imagination he has? The incredible stories he comes up with, the worlds that he creates, the characters he brings to life – they’re simply outstanding. The fact that he continues to come up with something new, refreshing, and totally different is wonderful. At one time, my favorite King novel was Lisey’s Story. It was a unique look at the inside of a marriage, but with King’s own scary twist on it. While it’s still a favorite, I think my new King ultimate favorite would have to be 11/22/63. It’s the story of JFK’s assassination, but with an imaginative twist that, in my opinion, ONLY King could have come up with and pulled off. And he did, indeed, pull it off. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that 11/22/63 just might actually be the best book I have ever read in my entire life.

These are the people who inspire me, who influence me. When my day is going badly and I’m struggling, I remember that these authors were once where I am. And if they’d given up, I’d have no idea who they are. So maybe, just maybe, if I keep going, one day I’ll be where they are, and I’ll be on someone’s list of “who influences me.”

Losing myself in their stories sometimes helps me work out a tangle in my own. If nothing else, it at least gives me a welcome break from my own work, from my own life. And that is enough to be grateful to the.

If you’ve never checked out these authors, do it now – after you pick up my book, of course. 🙂