The other day I had a conversation with sci-fi and fantasy author Olivia Berrier about the seven books that have had the greatest impact on us. I was able to come up with two lists of seven books: seven that shaped who I am as a writer and seven that influenced who I am as a person.
Your challenge is to come up with a list of the seven books that have had the greatest impact on you. Think about how and why they influenced you. Then, send each author a short message letting them know what their book meant to you. You will make their day!
To help you get started, I have included my list of the seven books that helped shape who I am as a writer. (I cheated a little – If the series as a whole influenced me rather than a specific book from the series, I listed the title of the series.)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Waredrobe by C.S. Lewis – This was the first story I ever fangirled over. It established my love for allegories and fantasy worlds.
The Seven Sleepers Series by Gilbert Morris – It built upon the foundation Narnia had laid. My love of allegories and fantasy worlds was solidified.
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini – The Inheritance Cycle showed me how to explore different belief systems in a fictional setting and introduced me to the idea that magic can have rules. From a technical standpoint, I learned a trick for minimizing use of the auxiliary verb “had” when relating something that had happened before the story began. (This only applies to books that are narrated in the past tense.)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – This book was my introduction to first-person narration. It is my favorite go-to example for how to set your reader firmly in a world without having an info dump and for what information to include in the first chapter of a novel.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson – This book showed me that children’s books can cover difficult, real-life situations which young people sadly face but society often considers too mature to discuss with children.
Main Street Series by Ann M. Martin – This series showed me how to grow characters over the course of several books. It also demonstrated how to write about real-life, too-mature-to-discuss-with-children situations in a tasteful way.
A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy – This series showed me how to structure a chapter book mystery series.