Friday, November 11, 2011
Inspiration in Imagination: A guest post by author, Denise Grover Swank
When I learned to read, an entire world opened to me. I didn’t just read books. I devoured them. In my first grade class, each student got a caterpillar with little bubbles we could color for each book we read. My teacher had to keep getting me more sheets. My caterpillar stretched to the side and around the corner. By the end of the year, I’d read 187 books.
As I got older, I always had a book in my hand and it wasn’t uncommon for my mother to find me hiding under covers reading with a flashlight instead of sleeping. (Some things never change. I’m still known for not going to sleep at appropriate times.)
By the time I was a teen, I’d blown through Judy Blume, Madeline L’Engle, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Which produced a semi-obsession with all things pioneer related and inspired me to create sunbonnets out of baby dresses. See? I had a wild imagination even back then.) I moved onto adult books. Barbara Cartland, Stephen King, LaVerle Spencer, J.R. Tolkien, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Robin Cook, T.H. White Do you notice a trend here? Yeah. Me neither. There is none. I literally read everything I could get my hands on. During the summer, it was common for me read a book a day. The library became my best friend.
When I started a family, my reading time decreased, although I would often cook and bathe kids with one hand and have a book in another. But my genre hopping still continued, now moving onto to Patricia Cornwell, Janet Evanovich, Michael Crighton, Mary Janice Davidson, Stephenie Meyer. (So I actually own up to that one. Sue me.)
Lately, I’ve gone through a paranormal romance and young adult craze. And let’s not forget the Game of Thrones marathon reads. But my current favorite author is Sarah Addison Allen, who writes adult magical realism. She was actually a partial inspiration for my humorous southern mystery, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. Her books are sweet and southern with a dash of paranormal thrown in.
Here’s the fact: I like change. I thrive on it. If I spend too much time reading one genre, it becomes stale. And if I was chained to a single genre to write, I’d probably gnaw my limb off to get away. Because even though writing is the most fun career I’ve ever had, it’s also the hardest. If I start writing stories that don’t excite me, then I might as well hang it all up. The only way I know to keep it fresh is to keep moving around.
Besides, I never know when and where inspiration for story ideas will strike next. It just might be in my next great read.
You can find out more about this talented lady at the following:
Goodreads Author Page
If you leave a comment on Denise's blog tour page, you are entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card.