When it comes right down to it, I cannot say that the Masters of literature have inspired me in my writing any more than Michael Angelo has inspired me to paint a glorious rendering of the last supper. Frankly, I could never aspire to that kind of greatness; actually, I don’t try or, rather, I don’t spend my time wishing.
So what do I rely on when writing? My imagination and the story itself as it unfolds.
Sure, I get writer’s block, but I trust myself to let my thoughts wander and settle on a course and off I go again. I enjoy stories that carry me along, are part of my personal experiences, have a good premise, with some identifiable characters; where there is a little intrigue, and perhaps something the readers can learn from, and an ending that makes sense and doesn’t just drift off. It’s an easy equation without the complexities of too many opinionated, or controversial, details that may be open to argument where everyone would otherwise get caught up in the minutiae rather than the storyline.
I love novels written by Patrick Robinson, James Patterson, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum or even Dan Brown – but I would never read them twice – except, perhaps, for Ian Fleming who invented James Bond. None of them teach me much other than culture and identity, but all of them are exciting the first time around.
I want to be somewhere in between. Perhaps where the reader uses my novels as some kind of reference tool. Wouldn’t that be neat?