Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

In last week's TIP TUESDAY I urged you to vary your reading as a way of improving your writing.

Now I'd appreciate it if you would tell us what books have influenced your writing. My answers to the questions are in italics. Have you learned from a particular author or authors? I learn a lot from Anne Tyler's writing. I learned from F. Scott Fitzgerald that I will never be "the next" F. Scott Fitzgerald. I don't have it in me.

Do you fall into a rut and read books by the same authors in the same genre, or do you consciously seek variety? I tended to read the same kind of books until I started editing. Editing led me to read about zombies, vampires, and all sorts of paranormal goings on. What's your favorite genre? Literary fiction, but I also read a lot of non-fiction. Is it the same genre in which you write--if you write? I hope my writing is literary fiction, but I don't know if it's good enough to qualify.

Do you want to write but never get around to it? What keeps you from writing? I've been writing, as you know if you've read Chapter One of Which Way Home (incomplete) on my blog. Fear of rejection keeps me from writing, but the larger problem is my lack of experience with writing fiction. I was a newspaper reporter so I'm accustomed to sticking to the facts. I used to write a newspaper column sometimes, too. The columns were usually sentimental family stories or humor, but they were based on reality.

Whether or not you write, what one book do you wish you could say you wrote? I can't limit myself to one choice: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dinner at The Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler, Emma by Jane Austen, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

After this post, TIP TUESDAY will be on hiatus until January.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thanks, fishducky.


  1. I'm a great admirer of classics like Great Expectations, Cyrano de Bergerac (Okay, it's a play, but still), The Count of Monte Cristo, The Corsican Brothers, Les Miserables, Moby-Dick... but my writing style was influenced by Herman Raucher's Summer of '42. I loved his smart-ass narration!

  2. Sometimes I binge-read authors if one catches my fancy. I went on an Anne Tyler binge about 25 years ago and read most of her books available at that time. By the time I was done, I was onto her formula and had burned out on it. Her characters are always SO much more interesting when they're fucked-up hot messes. Once they get their heads straightened out, they get dull, in my opinion. I haven't read any of her recent novels to know if she's changed her style or not.

  3. I haven't been able to write anything in years (probably since my 2nd daughter was born) so I guess my excuse would be kids, work, and other hobbies. Also I wasn't very good :)

    When I was able to write/read, I stuck with Young Adult novels. John Green was a huge influence. My 'sick-lit' predated The Fault In Our Stars, but once I read that I was inspired to reboot my old story as a YA novel. If only I could have finished it...

  4. I love David Sedaris and would love to put my name on his books.

  5. You're welcome!!

  6. I read a variety but always come back to mysteries (several types) and books based on interesting characters moreso than plot like Anne Tyler (at least that is how I think of those books). I like historical novels, humorous, biographies, autobiographies, science fiction, classics, some fantasy...but I am not very interested in romance novels, gore-horror, or westerns--even if I do read them on occasion. Influenced by? No clue. Probably by everything I've ever read--LOL! :)

  7. Jack Kerouac Dharma Bums, Hemingway's A Movable Feast, Anne Dillard A writing Life, Sol Stein - Stein on Writing, to name a few. I also love Hunter Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Paulo Coelho The Alchemist.

  8. If I really like an author, I'll seek out some of their other books (if available). And if they appeal to me, I might do some binge reading. Other than that, I like variety. I get bored of the same old type of stories/genres and try to choose something completely different for the next read. As long as I'm reading!

  9. Hi Janie - I was an avid reader of novels and murder mysteries etc - then started to read more academic things ... and now I read mostly educational things - history, geography etc etc ... I learn as I go - sometimes a book comes up that entertains and educates: that's my choice - "Walking the Drum" by Louis Lamour, and Patrick Leigh Fermor's trilody, then Nicholas Crane about our British landscape .. but I read all sorts ... though don't jump anywhere particular ...

    Cheers Hilary


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