My mother loved reading so it was only natural that she would read to me as a child. That’s where the spark of imagination begins is in reading. Writers are readers.  Reading has its influence on writers to futrther form stories in the sense of how to build suspense, drama, romance and develop characters.

Like life, people follow the examples they have been given. Such is why readers can see glimpses of other authors’ styles in my own writing. Writers I read when I was younger all the way up to today have thankfully continued to led me into the stories I spin.

Below are some amazing authors whose fantastic art of storytelling have created books I read in my youth which definitely left imprints my writing. Past novels everyone should have read before, especially romance writers.

V.C. Andrews

Here these coming of age dramas are seeped in betrayal, family secrets and young love. It’s the soap opera world for YA literature. These series had me locked up in my room for hours at a time as I witness the ups and downs of characters similar to my age. My personal favorites were My Sweet Audrina, Ruby, and of course, Flowers in the Attic.

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                 my-sweet-audrina-9781451636970_hr1    ruby1       flowers-in-the-attic1


R.L. Stine 

Before Goosebumps, Stine made preteens skin crawl with the horrors of the residents of Fear Street. Teens had a typical bad day made worse by death and terror. I loved The Betrayal, The Burning, The Secretand Lights Out.

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John Saul 

An adult step from Fear Street. Saul goes above and beyond to write about twisted individuals in sometimes everyday situations. He has a surprise around every corner. I could not put down these favorites: Second Child and Suffer the Children.

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220px-suffer_the_children_novel     2nd-child

Maya Angelou

Her powerful prose and poetry built up my black consciousness. She uplifted my soul and pride when reading her prolific poetry in Maya Angelou: Poems. Also, I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings, her heartbreaking autobiography really touched me. It shows the strong adversary of living through a painful past.

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maya-angelou-poems     220px-caged_bird_cover

Toni Morrison 

The queen of African American magical realism. Her novels of the African American experience weaved into culture and history creates her own mythology for the descendants of the Middle Passage survivals. Hands down my favorite of hers is The Bluest Eye.

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Richard Wright 

I’ll be honest. I have only read Native Son. However, the emotions I felt reading that book has stayed with me forever. His take on nature vs environment in a racist 1930s Chicago had me hating and loving the main character throughout the book. It was the first experience I had ever had where the hero was so unlikeable. But the reader empathizes, and by the end actually sympathized, with Bigger Thomas. Wright has his character pit against poverty and the hopelessness an all-white society frames into young black men’s minds that are still relevant and heartbreaking today.

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Anne Rice 

Vampires, witches, and mummies, but with heart. Rice was a trailblazer. When she set her characters out to be exposed by the world, she entertains her readers with the real emotional turmoil and exhaustion of eternal life in her monsters’ series. The reader gets the point of view of a monster similar to Bram Stroker but Rice went further into the heart and soul of these creatures.  My absolute cherished one of hers is The Tale of the Body Thief.

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MaryJanice Davidson 

Her Queen Betsy Novel series had me laughing. The humor, sex and vampire issues kept my interest through the whole series. There are quick reads packed filled with all the suspense, horror, and romance needed in that single dose of drama. And every book has a nicely wrapped up storyline with a hint of the next book just around the corner to get the reader closer to the ultimate showdown between the heroine and the baddie.

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And lastly, Judith McNaughty 

The feminist in me was a bit upset by her virgin, damsels-in-distress heroines that were obsess with the leading hero.  The playboy hero would brutally take their virginity out of some misunderstanding and spend the rest of the novel trying to fight back their love and desire to claim the heroine who has moved on. Yes, most of McNaughty’s novels take place in a time where women were sold into marriage and woman’s rights wasn’t even a concept, so you can’t completely write situations outside of that norm. But McNaughty did give her headstrong heroines’ strengths in their own ways and the passion between the characters made up for any misogynistic ideas that came into play. I loved Paradise and A Kingdom of Dreams.

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         paradise                     kingdom

As an adult, my reading taste have grown and changed. However, I still occasionally think back at those authors from my preteens and teenage years. Their stories spark fond memories of lengthy entertainment while inspiring me to tell my story in offbeat and suspenseful ways.

What authors from your past didn’t make it on the list? How did they influence you? Have you read any of the writers mentioned above? What is your personal opinion of their writing? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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