Harperpages

The blog of author Harper Alexander

Favorite Authors

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Since I’m currently taking a break from my own writing, I thought it would be fun to share a list of my favorite authors / authors who have inspired me.  They are:

Tamora Pierce. (She’s what got me into reading/writing fantasy, back when I was 11 or so.  I was totally addicted to her books for years, and will gladly read all of her new releases even now, simply because she has something that got me hooked, even though I’ve since moved on style-wise.)

Tanith Lee.  (Looking at her bibliography, you’ll quickly see she has a lot of unusual, rather obscure stuff.  If you’ve read any of it, you probably know it can get extremely dark/explicit.  However, I got to know Tanith Lee’s work through her Young Adult Fantasy endeavor known as the Claidi Journals.  This was around the same time as I was into Tamora Pierce, so I was excited to find another YA fantasy adventure and branch out slightly.  Imagine my disappointment when I loved the Claidi Journals, looked up Tanith Lee, and found that all the rest of her stuff was dark and mature and not at all like what I’d excitedly come to know her by.  Oh well.  But the Claidi Journals will always hold a huge special place in my heart.  They’re odd, but there’s something about them… I was hugely influenced by certain things about those books.)

Cornelia Funke.  (A German writer, who writes lots of different children’s fantasy stories that get translated into lots of languages.  I fell particularly in love with Inkheart. To be honest, I have not enjoyed any of her other work nearly as much, including Inkheart’s sequels, but Inkheart itself was wonderful.  Wonderful.  This is the book that opened my mind to the beauty of metaphors.  And the idea that modern fantasy could still be cool/beautiful.)

Patrick Rothfuss. (The Name of the Wind blew me away (no pun intended), even though to this day I can’t put my finger on why.  I’m on the next book in the series right now, and while I’m enjoying it equally as much, I still can’t say exactly why it’s so special.  Something about his storytelling, about the events that come about and fit together…  I just love it.  He’s a definite favorite.)

Dawn Cook.  (A little more obscure under this particular pen name, but in my opinion she is underappreciated.  The four books in her ‘Truth’ series are some of the most beloved on my shelf, and will be forever.  She writes a beautiful, beautiful story, with characters like I’ve never felt for before, and description that paints the most incredible picture.  These books make me ache.)

Sherwood Smith.  (I have only actually read her book ‘Crown Duel’, another YA fantasy, but it’s another all-time favorite.  One of those where the last half is way better than the first, but totally had me glued to the setting and inspired where creating my own settings was concerned.  Love the characters and the intrigue.)

Robin McKinley. (It’s been awhile since I’ve read her work, and I’d like to read more than I have, but ‘The Hero and the Crown‘ was a book that convinced me my journey into fantasy was definitely going to be a lifelong love affair.  While I don’t remember the book clearly, there are little bits that I can put my finger on inspiring me throughout my writing career.)

Kristen Britain. (I’m a horse-lover, so I bought her Green Rider series mainly to get a horse and fantasy fix at the same time, but she totally inspired me in the way she used a simple writing style but enough imagination in the setting and events themselves to make the reading experience magical and beautiful. Until then, I had not really thought such could be achieved.  I always thought simple writing would translate as just that, and always come across rather flat and boring, and that to make it beautiful you had to use prose and fancy words. Glad she’s shown me otherwise.)

Lauren DeStefano. (I have just read her debut novel, Wither, so she is the newest face on my list of favorite/inspiring authors.  As I’ve said, ‘modern’ stuff tends to rub me the wrong way, so I was pleasantly surprised – pleasantly blown away – when I read Wither.  The way she wrote totally enchanted me.  I loved the setting simply because she put so much character into everything, and for this reason she is an instant huge inspiration to me as I’m launching my ‘contemporary’ debut as an author. I will go back to this book (and eagerly devour future volumes) whenever I need inspiration on this front.)

While it’s debatable whether or not he’s a favorite, I’m going to go ahead and mention Neil Gaiman as well.  His book ‘Neverwhere’ really did something for me, and is one I also find inspiring in many indistinguishable ways.  I don’t know.  Something about it.  The ideas, the daring ‘different’ tone about it…  Love it.

A couple other books themselves I should mention:

The Book Thief.  (Not my typical genre, but the way the author writes is extraordinary.  I would have read this book just to savor his metaphor usage.  In the notes he writes regarding the book, I remember him saying something along the lines of believing that there should be a gem on every page.  I love that, and he accomplishes that splendidly.)

Ella Enchanted.  (Yes, a girly Cinderella story.  But quaint and charming and somehow so special. Another that has stuck with me, forever.)

I may have forgotten some, but this covers the basics.

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