Now I realize writing a post like this might very well end my writing career here on the spot, but I have to be real. Countless times I’ve read author, editor, or agent interviews who contribute their love of books to a particular author. A lot of times their adolescent inspirations are books like “Anne of Green Gables.” Um, I’ve never read these books. Are they like the TV series “Little House on the Prairie?” I honestly have no idea. Or other book types have given homage to the “Sweet Valley High” series. Is this comparable to the “90210” television series? Again, not on my radar. *sees my career die a more brutal death*
Before I go further, I’d like to note, my writing is NOT in the vein of VC Andrews, despite my apparent homage. So why am I putting a gun to my writing career’s head? Because I think it is essential to acknowledge the universal truth about the books we read and love. They affect us.
In the same way a song can take us back in time, a book can take us to another world. What I needed to read when I was ten served a purpose to my state of being the same way a book at fifteen or thirty-six may have fed my soul.
At fifteen my stepmother (my stepmother of twenty-five plus years, who served as a mother to me where mine could not, and died over twelve years ago), introduced me to a little book called “Flowers in the Attic.” This book horrified and thrilled me. It was disturbing and full of fight. It showed me how an oppressing adult figure could be defeated with the sheer will to want something more than what life had given them at that point. At that stage in my life, understanding and realizing I could be in control my future was enlightening.
I went on to devour every VC Andrew book I could, not quite reading at the voracity I do now but still, over the years I read all of her original works. Eventually, my reading appetite ceased as I started to read the “VC Andrews” books written by ghost writers. To my horrid surprise, VC Andrews had died years before I’d ever discovered her. And the books following her death were pale in comparison to her original works.
But none the less, her words charged me in a way I never thought possible in literature. As my life wanned on, reading fell to the side. Years went by before I desired to read again. When I did, I searched for books on the internet in the vein of VC Andrews, because that had been my last love. Nothing appealed to me. In a ten year span I had read one book… “The Da Vinci Code.” Though the premise appealed to me (secrets in history) the book didn’t revive my reading life. That didn’t happen until I watched a little movie in December 2008…but that’s another post all together.
In a recent interview I read, the person spoke of being drawn to books where the characters had that “can’t-live-without-you emotions.” It’s that breathless quality that stirs my reading love. It’s that quality that wakes me up in the morning, draws me to a particular book, and keeps me up late at night to see the story through. That’s the kind of writing I want to represent. That’s the emotion I want to evoke. That’s the story I want to tell.
What aspect drives your writing/reading desires? What part of the story gives you soul?
For those VC Andrews fans, “Flowers in the Attic” is being made into a movie. No, no. Not the b-rated movie from the 90’s that veered so far from the book, BUT a new movie is currently being casted and will potentially be in theaters in 2014.