27 July 2009

Who Inspires You?

Comments on my recent blog post have left me thinking a lot about the importance of inspiration, particularly from others. It’s left me wondering this question: What writer inspires you?

I am the most encouraged to write, the most excited about a story when I am reading a truly great novel. My favorite writer is the incredible Charles Martin, who uses ordinary people, extraordinary plotlines, and fantastic language to weave a novel so breathtaking that all I want to do is pull out my laptop and try to craft at least one scene—at least one sentence—as beautifully as he does. W. Dale Cramer does the same thing with his Southern stories; he has a way of saying the most profound things in simple, unshakeable ways. Lisa Samson asks really hard questions and is unafraid of her search for an answer, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it might be. Melody Carlson takes the uncanny—whether it be cult life, drug addiction, or multiple personalities—and shows the mighty power of God in each of her stories. Nancy Rue brings healing with every word that she types and Susan Meissner simply leaves me spellbound with stories as clear and refreshing as a freshwater stream on a summer’s day. Ray Blackston uses humor to make me laugh, and then long after I’ve stopped laughing, I keep thinking about his themes and his conversation with me, the reader.

Fantasy writer Christopher Paolini captivates me with his tales of Alagaesia, mostly because I’ve always wanted a dragon. J.K. Rowling consistently has me coming back for more of her magical characters. I find myself dreaming of C.S.Lewis’ Narnia, looking for Aslan wherever I go and then demanding that my poodle actually talk to me like I really suspect she can. Tolkien’s Middle Earth has followed me to Africa and back again, where I’m convinced it’s all the more glorious in the Southern Hemisphere. And there’s another writer that I’m thinking of here, but that’s another post for another day… my first book feature, perhaps?

I have more favorites and inspirations than the ones I listed above. These are just a few. But now I’m asking you. When you think about the Company you keep, who makes you the most excited? Who inspires you? Who has you racing for your laptop, pen, and notebook no matter how late it is? Who keeps you dreaming of your day as a published author? Who, at the very mention of their names, makes you tremble from excitement of being counted amongst their ranks?

Who is in your great Hall of Fame? I’m excited to read your responses—I’m always on the look for something great to read!

See you Thursday!


  1. Hooray! I finally found your blog!
    Ok, that out of the way: who inspires me and get's my keyboard clacking?

    I'd definitely agree with your fanatsy author posts. Ms. Rowling makes me dream of creating a world where my characters touch reality far more than I could have ever dared dream. Tolkien and Lewis are in a league of their own, but they push me and drag me up that great mountain of writing, asking for nothing more than my best.

    Honestly, a good mystery or ghost story has always made me want to rush home and craft my own. Any time I watch a fantasy film, my fingers are itching with ideas and my mind is furiously trying to get all it's imaginings out before they flit away like butterflys on a hot summer's day.

    I can't wait to read your other posts, dear friend!

    Happy Tuesday,

  2. Hooray!!! So glad you found it, Friend!

    I know--film does it for me too! As does television to some extent. They are stories, after all. And they both feed something different for me as well, something that books cannot do. Music does something completely different, but there are songs that send me running to my notebook as well.

    Maybe that's part of the definition of true Art--something that inspires a response, whether it be emotional, creative, or just in normal, everyday living?

  3. Btw, I apologize to everyone that only half of the links work. I'm still learning html, and obviously, need to keep at it! But all of these people you can find by typing their names into any search engine.

  4. Hey Kristen, thanks for stopping by my blog! I am inspired by so many authors, some the same from your list. A lot of times this inspiration is completely random, however. I'll even read a blog post here and there and come away feeling completely inspired. A pretty mix of words or an amazing voice will encourage me to be more creative in my own work. And I love to push myself to be better! Fun post!

  5. Hi, Kristen. I'm inspired by so many authors, including some of the ones you mentioned. Lately, I've read several historicals that have left me breathless. One by Siri Mitchell and another by Francine Rivers. I also try to keep up with NY Times Bestsellers to see what is selling. Beyond fictional reading, I'm inspired by Biblical stories. So many of the Old Testament stories are almost too good to be true.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you. I look forward to checking out your other posts. I notice your labels of Guatemala and missions. I'm excited to check those out.

  6. Hi, Heather and Cindy! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Heather, if you're interested in more missions stories, please stop by my other blog: ktsummer.blogspot.com. That one has stories from my most recent adventures in India and in Guatemala.

    I haven't read Siri Mitchell yet, but I think I will check her out. Francine Rivers is fantastic; you're so right!