What Books Inspired You to Write?
I get this question often and my answers always feel vague. The question isn’t as straight forward as it seems–I end up in a thought labyrinth as I over-dissect the exact meaning of the word “inspired?”
So here are a few answers for each of the ways I might take the question:
Are they asking: What books of fiction have had an observable influence on the stories you write?
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff | by Christopher Moore.
Ismael | by Daniel Quinn.
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior | by Dan Millman.
Though, if we are talking influences, I draw a lot from reading comic books in the 90’s and watching movies/TV shows. I feel, for instance, that Joss Whedon deserves a big mention here but I couldn’t point you toward a book specifically.
Are they asking: What books of fiction have you enjoyed a great deal?
The Dresden Files | By Jim Butcher.
The Iron Druid Chronicles | By Kevin Hearne
The Sword of Truth Series | By Terry Goodkind
I’m currently enjoying Peter V. Brett’s The Demon Cycle.
I am just gonna stop this list short, but I update my Goodreads profile from time to time if you want book recommendations.
Are they asking: What books do you feel people should read for the purpose of self improvement?
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark | By Carl Sagan
The Moral Animal | By Robert Wright
The Hero With A Thousand Faces | By Joseph Campbell (you guys probably saw that coming)
Are they asking: What books have helped you with the craft of Writing itself?
I found Stephen King’s book: On Writing incredibility helpful. That said, I would add the caveat that one should read this as they are attempting to write their first novel. Said person should absorb this slowly–read a chapter or two a week.
Stephen King expresses a lot of his own self doubts throughout the book and it helps to hear a successful author describe the exact same feelings you’ll soon find yourself experiencing.