Well, Stephen King and quite a few other authors.
I was lucky, and I learned to read when I was 3. That meant the wonderful world of literature was open to me at a young age. As my reading skill grew, I began to read more and more, and at younger ages than many of my peers.
I learned to read phonetically, long before Hooked on Phonics, so I typically sounded out unfamiliar words. This served me well, causing only a few mispronunciations. The most notable was my firm belief that the spoken “awry” was a completely different word than the written “awry,” which I pronounced like oar-y. I did pretty well with books, and I was reading at a high school reading level long before high school.
I also developed a love for the macabre at a young age, before I had ever heard the word “macabre.” NBC used to have a series called Cliffhangers, which had three alternating serials. My favorite was The Curse of Dracula. For those of you doing the math, I was 6 when this show aired. Vampire stories quickly became my favorite of all paranormal tales, but I wasn’t too picky when it came to the scary stuff. My only criterion was that it needed to have a 90% chance of inducing nightmares.
I was huge fan of Stephen King in middle and early high school. I sped through his back catalog and moved on to other paranormal authors who also had good back catalogs and then began reading science fiction and fantasy, which were my big loves until recently when I was introduced to paranormal romances.
Stephen King was the writer who first introduced me to the word “macabre” and many other fun words to describe the things that go bump in the night. So, I was overjoyed to see a tweet earlier this week to a list of Stephen King’s favorite books. Hmmm, I have read a few of them, but not all. And I don’t love all of his faves. Lord of the Flies never spoke to me. But 1984? Amazing.
What are your favorite books? Which authors shaped who you are as a writer and a reader?