Which Books Most Influenced My Writingby C.J. Redwine
I was filling out an author questionnaire once and came upon the following question: Which books have
most influenced your writing?
I left it blank.
Mostly because the second I saw the question, my brain sort of overloaded on all the possible answers
and started leaking out my ears. I’ve known since I was in second grade that I wanted to write stories
for the rest of my life. Every story I’ve read since then has fed my creativity, sharpened my craft, and
opened my imagination to the incredible world of What If __insert ridiculously awesome idea here__.
Still, there are books and authors that stand out. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
1. Dr. Suess: What? He isn’t on your list? Show me an author with a better grasp of slipping the
bounds of the ordinary, and then you can judge me. He was fearless. His brain came up with
things like Who-ville and Horton and naughty cats who wear striped hats, and even though no
one had seen anything like his illustrations or the playful words he created when nothing else
would rhyme, he didn’t care. He knew who he was as an artist, and he refused to compromise.
2. J.K. Rowling: I don’t think there’s a more perfect series out there than the Harry Potter series.
I could crawl inside Ms. Rowling’s head and live there for a while. Her world building is all-
encompassing. Her plot is meticulously crafted. And her cast of characters is HUGE, but all have
distinct voices and personalities. Add to that incredibly high stakes, a keen understanding of
how to age her characters over the years, and a character arc for Harry that just about broke me
in book 7, and you have the reason why I re-read these books every year or so. It’s a master’s
class in how to do a series right.
3. Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: I learned a valuable lesson about truly opening
your character up to the reader from Ms. Perkins. She lets us live beneath their skin for the
duration of the story, and the effect is an indelible emotional attachment that lingers long after
we’ve turned the last page. Add to that her ability to create a vivid setting that feels so real it
was a bit of a shock to close the book and find I wasn’t sitting in the heart of Paris, and you have
the reason why this book goes on my list.
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: This book rocked my world. I was in the midst of
pushing myself craft-wise to try new things, and when I read this book, I knew I’d found my
niche. Speculative fiction with a dystopian twist. Exciting, dynamic plot played out against an
epic backdrop with life or death stakes. The Hunger Games showed me that the only limits to
my imagination are those I impose myself. I decided to unshackle those limits and sat down
shortly afterward to write DEFIANCE.
5. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: I first read the LOTR trilogy when I was in fourth grade. Most
of it went over my head, but I loved the adventure. I re-read it in high school and was blown
away by the incredible world, the characters, and the stakes that scared me half to death. I
learned that details matter. That pushing characters to their limits delivers the most compelling
story. And that if ever I put on a piece of jewelry and a lidless eye wreathed in flames jumps out
at me, I need to find myself a wizard, a dwarf, and Orlando Bloom. Stat.
I could keep listing books, because it seems that every book I read teaches me something new about
the art of story-telling. What books have influenced you?
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (August 28, 2012)
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.Thanks so much to C.J. for joining us today! Her list of books are my absolute favorite books ever, and the summary for Defiance sounds amazing, so I'm really excited to read it soon! You can find a list of all the blogs participating in this tour here!
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.