Every writer begins somewhere… that somewhere is usually as a reader. I read a LOT: I would never have wanted to become a writer myself if I’d not read the work of others who had started out their writing lives as people like myself.
Since I’ve read a lot, there have been notable examples of authors who I have particularly enjoyed. Not all of them inspire me, but there are a couple of my favourites who make the list. They inspire me for all sorts of reasons; their ethics and outlook on life, their work, their beginnings, their ideas. Here’s the list of my favourite writers – their works are exceptionally inspiring, and they include themes and write on topics that I’ll always find endless fascination with.
1. Ville Valo
Not strictly an author, no. I did say this list wouldn’t contain all authors. Ville Valo has to be first, because he’s also something of an idol to me. He’s the frontman for my favourite band of all time. Ignore the fact they’ve recently decided to split. Ville began life as a retail assistant in his father’s sex shop in Finland. I think he’s an interesting person, because he’s very sure of himself. He knows what he likes. He knows what his influences are. He set up a band with one of his best friends, and together they created the storm that was H.I.M. They got into the charts in the U.S. in 2005. And Valo’s lyrics, I’m sure, have something to do with that.
I won’t fill this page with examples of his lyrics, but he includes interesting references to literature, other songs. Often he’s singing about love, death, life, and everything in between. He’ll remain an idol for me forever, even if at the minute he’s decided to part ways with what he’s been doing for the last 25 odd years.
2. Becky Chambers
Chambers is relatively new to the author scene. She’s one of those authors who I picked up off one of the tables in Waterstones, based on how pretty the cover of the book looked. I wasn’t expecting quite so many dynamic and fully realised characters. I wasn’t expecting a book which would bring me to tears not once, not twice; but a total of five times throughout one book. Her second novel is just as magnificent, even if it is smaller in scope.
I bang on about Becky Chambers a lot – but for good reason. She’s not afraid to step into territory which is only just beginning to really permeate through novels. What I love is that the topics she breaches are always pioneered and discussed in sci-fi novels, where she made her debut and will now make her home.
3. Chris Wooding
Wooding’s books range through a variety of genres. The series I particularly hold close to my heart, and which I think is a testament to his imagination, is the Broken Sky series. I found these through one of those Scholastic book fair catalogues; I purchased the first six with my own pocket money, but it was years and years before I got the full set of nine. They went out of print in the early 2000’s; I remember my dad tracking the final 3 down for me. The story he creates in Broken Sky is magnificent; it’s a strange blend of science fiction and fantasy. What I LOVE about Wooding’s work in this instance is that he’s basically blending together epic sagas in novel form and Japanese manga; elements of both are present in Broken Sky, but he’s got his own imagined world, creatures and characters in there too.
The other great thing about his writing is that it holds up, years later; I first read these when I was around 10-11 years old. Since then I’ve re-read the series regularly, and to this day I still enjoy it immensely. He doesn’t shy away from certain themes, and honestly it’s more like soft YA.
Wooding does things differently; he does things his way. I wish I’d invested in his other work sooner, as I have no doubt that it delivers just as much interesting material as his 9 book series.
Generally the writers who inspire me have different ideas, yet they draw inspiration from what they’ve also read in the past. There are so many other places I get my ideas from and feel inspired by, but these are my top three writers. I’d love to hear about your favourite authors, favourite writers, and what inspires you.