Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who started your dream?

As part of Rach Harrie's 3rd Writer's Platform-Building Campaign I've joined a bloghop organised by Cat Gerlach that explores what and who got us started on this writing journey. There are eleven bloggers in this little circle, if you follow the links at the end of the post you should get to visit them all.

Oh! Silly me, I almost forgot! As well as finding out about our writing influences, there are also PRIZES! That's right prizes. The more blogs you visit, and the more comments you leave, the more chance you have of winning a query crit, a 500 word crit, an e book by William L. Hahn, there are 2 YA novels for grabs, and finally a 30 and 25 page critique.

So without further ado, who started my dream?

About four years ago, I went from writing for a hobby, to 'You know, I think I may just take this seriously'. The authors/writers who helped me reach this decision were one small wee colleague that I had the good luck to be closely working with, and a small group of bloggers who commented regularly on this good ole blog. Their names are: Rhian Saadat (an execellent mentor if ever there was one), Kate Bousefield, Debi Alper, Nicky Schmidt, Seamus Kearney, Derec Jones, Maht Wells, Marie Syemou and Jefferson Davies. These guys were supporting and lovely in a way that helped me make the most terrible writing mistakes ever, while still giving me the confidence to carry on.

But why did I then start writing children's? Well another colleague leant me Skellig by David Almond and I was completely blown away. I was big into Magic Realism at the time and after I read another of Almond's books Heaven Eyes I decided I was reading the best Magic Realist ever.














A kid in my class passed along Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke. The kid's book review had not convinced me I would like the book, but I gave it a go despite the animal characters. I really liked it, but reading The Thief Lord shorly after a visit to Venice was just amazing. then there was Inkheart and how my heart bled at the end of Inkspell. So, in case you haven't guessed I'm big into Funke!


And last but not least, who put the steam into punk? Well in my opinion it was Philip Reeve and Mortal Engines. Shortly after reading that book I cancelled my summer holiday and sat down and wrote for two months solid, joined SCBWI... and... no, there's no happy ending, YET. Still a lot of hard work to do and a lot to learn.

Meanwhile, if you want to here about other influences and great books, you can go one way along the ring by going to Robyn Campbell's blog (yes, she of the interview) or you could go the other way by tootling along to M.G. Higgins blog. And remember to comment (before the 23rd, which is when all the comments will go in a big hat).

13 comments:

the wild magnolia said...

I'm thinking the David Almond books are worth checking out.

Thanks for sharing.

Lynda R Young said...

Ha, I love your story and your influences.

MG Higgins said...

That's an inspiring story about how hard you worked after reading Mortal Engines. Makes me want to pick it up! I'm also a Cornelia Funke fangirl.

Tina Moss said...

It sounds like you had some great influences to take your writing from hobby to "let's do this!" :)

J said...

Some of those books are new to me. I'll have to add them to my TBR pile! :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Michelle,

These are some great books! I haven't read David Almond yet, but it seems like I should. I love magical realism...

Have a great weekend.

Zoe Rose said...

I love Funke! Even though I haven't read her work in years, I love her work and it still has a place on my creaking bookshelves.

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hi all, sorry for taking so long to reply, it's been one of those weeks. You know the sort, right? @Wild Magnolia and Michael, David Almond is really well worth trying out, but then obviously I'm biased. Linda and Tina, I love so many books it's hard to pin point influences, but writing buddies is easier. Melissa I saw that you liked Cornelia Funke as well, and Zoe I have two in my TBR pile and I must read Inkdeath one day. J the ones I've mentioned are all pretty old, I review more recent books fairly regularly, if you're looking for any other ideas, or are you like me with a HUGE tbr pile?

Beth Kemp said...

I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read any Almond (yet...), but I'm with you on the Funke.

What an interesting theme for a blog chain!

Joanne Fritz said...

Oh, I loved SKELLIG. Such perfect pacing! So gorgeous.

And THIEF LORD is my second favorite Funke novel after INKHEART.

Glad I found your blog through the bloghop -- started with K.M. Walton and worked my way here!

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Oh Beth! Well as long as you add him to your TBR pile, I think we can still be friends ;) And Joanna, thanks for working your way round the chain. Everyone has such different influences, haven't they?

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I LOVED Skellig! And I love ALL things Cornelia Funke!!

My big author is Patricia Polacco--brilliant writer! :-)

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hi all, just deleted my own comment. I must have been asleep when I wrote it! Er Hum!
Shannon, I shall add Polacco to my TBR pile. I also wanted to let you all know that you names went into the PRIZE pool, I'll post the winners tomorrow.

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