My Five Most Important Writing Influences
1. Steven J. Cannell- I truly believe without this man’s talents of bringing colorful characters to the television screen as I was growing up, I never would have pursued a writing career. In sixth grade, I became addicted to The A-Team. Yes, you read that right. The A-Team. The first completed 100+-page story I ever wrote was based on the characters of that show. The antics of the characters inspired my love of storytelling, suspense and the good guys always winning. As I grew up, other shows of Cannell’s came and went. I got hooked on them all.
2. Diana Gabaldon- I remember devouring Outlander and loving everything about Jamie and Claire Fraser. My heart ached to be a part of that world Gabaldon had created. After all, I’d already invested so much emotion in every step of Claire and Jamie’s journey. After finishing that book I knew I wanted to pursue publishing no matter how much heartache I had to endure. I challenged myself to make my readers care as much for my characters as I cared for Jamie and Claire.
3. Suzanne Brockmann- Suzanne Brockmann is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She has tons of fans, but whenever I’ve been fortunate enough to meet her, I’ve always felt like what I had to say and my support of her career were important to her. I’ve heard and seen people who forget their manners once they meet with success. Brockmann is a wonderful example of a successful author who appreciates the people around her and never seems to take her success for granted. I hope to be like her when I grow up.
4. Jill Shalvis- I love the way Shalvis allows the reader into the heads of her main characters. When reading one of her books, I always feel transported into that world, like I’m the best friend sitting at the table, experiencing the story alongside the main character. Writing in deep point of view has been a strength of mine and at times, a weakness. When I need some coaching on how to do it right, I pick up a Shalvis book.
5. Nancy Wales- This is not a famous author. This is my best friend. When I started writing, Nancy was the one who always told me I could one day be a published author. For years, she has cheered for me, encouraged me and prodded me onward when I’ve lost my way. She sent me flowers for my 1st ever contest win. Through the years, she’s sent me tons of books on craft and countless other inspirational presents tied to the story I was working on at the time. Before I had my own computer, she typed all my manuscripts. She’s made business cards for me and talked up my writing with anyone who’d listen. When bad news threatens to get me down, she refuses to let me even think about giving up. With good news, she’s the first person I want to call.