Before Us and Did it Right
often do we as authors and readers talk about the writers who have influenced
our writing-style or how we choose which books are worth to line our shelves?
I’ve done it often, usually without thinking about it. What I don’t always do
is answer the question ‘Why?’ Why do I choose those writers? Why do I choose
those books? Is it as simple as just liking the book? It made me laugh. It made
me cry. The author is just amazing. But if someone asked us to pinpoint the
‘why’ how many of us already know?
both an author and reader, I certainly have my influences. Writers who I feel
personify what it means to be a great writer. Writers who are able to capture a
single moment with such astounding clarity, the reader can’t help but feel the
chills, the tears, the touch of a hand, and the all-consuming love. They are no
longer a reader, but are in fact living the life written out on those pages. I’ll
admit, I really get into a good book. So much so, that I’ve read some of my
favorites upwards of two dozen times over the years. Is it because these
writers have influenced me in such a way that I can’t seem to get enough of
them? That can’t be it, because the books I tend to read for simple pleasures
over and over, aren’t written by those I’ve claimed to be my favorites (with
the exception of Woodiwiss), or by those I’ve claimed to have the most
influence over my own writing or reading choices.
are your favorites? How have they influenced the way you write or which books
you choose to read?
today, I’ve listed my top influences – whether it be for writing or reading,
these are the authors who have had the most profound effect on me as a writer
and reader. If it has their name on it, I can only wish I wrote it and chances
are, it’s on my bookshelf.
E. Woodiwiss: I don’t believe I’m only in saying that this author is
a favorite or influenced me to become a writer myself and I’m certain there are
also those who would disagree. I didn’t begin writing with the arrogance that I
would ever reach her level of skill, but this wonder of historical romances
pulled me into her stories, made me long for the lives of her characters, made
me laugh with them, cry with them and she did it all superbly. As an author of
historical romance, I often think of her books as I write and imagine that if
my books come out even half as good as hers, I would have accomplished
Rutherford: I haven’t yet read all of this author’s books, but I’m
working through the list. I will say that after I read The Princes of Ireland
and The Rebels of Ireland, I was sold on this author. From his style, to his
dedication to accurate history and his ability to creatively and effortlessly
intertwine fictional families with fascinating history. I longed to be a part
of that world, no matter how difficult or horrible it read at times, I wanted
to be there with the people, fighting their battles, tending the wounded,
loving the families. The images he creates of the landscape is vivid, the
characters equally flawed and heroic. His ability to incorporate the history
into his books, and still write a fascinating work of fiction, is one of the
greatest reasons why he is on my list.
L’Amour and Larry McMurtry: These two western authors share a spot on
my list and it may not make much sense to many people, but as western authors
go, they are the greatest I’ve ever read. Lonesome Dove. The Sacketts. Need I
say more? They both wrote westerns as I imagined the west would have been. The
cowboys didn’t ride horses bare-chested and the women didn’t swoon at the sight
of a handsome face. It was survival on the frontier, gun against gun, dirt,
grime, hardship, flawed characters, good families, outlaws who didn’t always
die and good guys who sometimes did. That was the west and I believe that if I
can learn to incorporate a bit of their style into my own writing, I’d have a
successful western. I’m still working on that, but I’d say that as far as good,
down-to-the-earth, love ‘em, kill ‘em, fight ‘em, real west would have been,
these two just may have captured it. Oh and did I mention that they not only
captured it, but made us want to read about it.
McClintock was born on the west coast, but after less than eight
years she left with her family to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures
around the country, business college and culinary school, McClintock found a place
to call home in Montana.
books and spent more hours reading through school than any other activity. I
wrote stories when I was younger and even tried my hand at a novel. It wasn’t
very good and I shelved the idea for years.” She pulled the ideas off the
shelf and began working on her first novel, Gallagher’s Pride, the first in an
historical series about a ranching family in Montana.
McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland. She dreams of
a time when life was simpler, the land rougher and the journey more rewarding.
With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure,
McClintock still calls Montana home. McClintock is also the author of Alaina
Claiborne, the first of her British Agent novels. She is currently at work on
her next book.’
after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn’t know existed.
Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of
discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest
of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost
family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man
who destroyed her family. As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than
enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn’t need the complication of
Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn’t need the trouble that came with her.
Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong
Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life
you out of your mind?” The words tumbled from her mouth before she could stop
them, but he had gone and truly shocked her.
actually I’m not. It’s your safety I’m thinking of,” replied Ethan, more to
himself than her. He loosened the hold on her arm.
let out an exasperated sigh, something her mother had always tried to
discourage, and said, “I do appreciate your kindness, Mr. Gallagher…”
but I’m certainly not the type of woman to just go home with two men whether I
know them or not. It would be highly inappropriate, not to mention stupid.”
you’re not stupid.”
as far as I can tell,” Brenna said with fire in her eyes. She rarely ever took
offense at what people said, too comfortable in her own skin to care, but this
man riled her and he did it effortlessly.