Today is a day of thought and remembrance. Of for a sunburn and pool time. Or some mixture of both.
But I want to focus on the original meaning of the holiday for the briefest of posts (because I know we all have things to do today). I just want us all to take a moment and think about what passed-on author has inspired each of us the most in our writing. Someone who we’d memorialize and remember on this day.
For me, it’s a tricky choice. My favorite writer of all time is F. Scott Fitzgerald. He’s a man who was dead more than fifty years before I was born. But his books are some of the ones I’ve enjoyed the most as a reader. That said, I’m not sure they affected me much as a writer, other than understanding what a good editor can do (This would be why “The Great Gatsby” reads so differently from the rest of his works).
So, I’m going to pick a more recently gone author: Stieg Larsson.
Again, he was gone before I even heard his name, dying of heart attack before even getting to enjoy the massive, world-wide success his “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and subsequent books would enjoy. However, that first book hit me as hard as it hit anyone else. I couldn’t put it down, tearing through it on a family vacation in which I completely ignored my family.
I’m not sure he’s affected my writing as much as showing me what is possible from a multi-headed thriller. I’ve learned so much about getting the breadcrumbs just right reading his books. And about creating characters who aren’t totally perfect and how real that can make them. He’s an amazing writer, definitely gone too early.
As a writer, what passed-on author would you choose to memorialize today?