I like to read. A lot. Well, duh, no surprises there. But now that I am writing as well as reading, I find myself sometimes riddled with jealousy. As in “God I wish I could write like that.” I suppose it’s healthier to consider it inspiration, so that’s how I choose to see it. I get this way when I read many authors, but three stand out in particular:
Joyce Carol Oates
Yes, I know she’s dark. Her books are not a pick-me-up. But who better can face hideousness head-on, unflinching, using just the right verb to make you feel it, too? I struggle with writing uncomfortable scenes, and I always read a few pages of JCO before tackling something ugly. If she can confront it, I can, too, and I shouldn’t worry about what my mother will think.
And I’ll have to add Jhumpa Lahiri here as well, since they both can capture a perfect jewel of a story with just the right bittersweet ending. Plus I’m partial to short stories.
The queen of brevity.
So I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours.