Books of Influence

What are the books that changed your life?

Molly, Daryll Lynne and James share the books that crafted them into the writers they have become and describe the catalyzing effect of being a book lover.

Molly’s Editing Tip:

Channelling the words of Douglas Adams, “if you’re going to start starting something stop starting and start,” Molly advises us to cease having characters “starting to do” and rather have them simply do it. For example, Sandra started to make the toast . . . exchange for Sandra made the toast. As Molly says, “don’t leave people with uneaten toast.”

Interview Highlights

  • The group agreed that using tracking sheets with trusted writing groups to hold each other accountable for showing up to write every day was a helpful way to stay focused and feel accomplished as a writer
  • Molly admits to using notebooks rather than a computer to write and the group discusses the merits of writing by hand or using technology when drafting
  • James asks which books had the most influence on Daryll Lynne’s and Molly’s writing journey and shares a list of his own that include strong women characters, equality, and writing styles that inspire

The Book List

  • Patricia McKillip, The Harpist in the Wind and The Riddle Master Trilogy
  • James Salter, Sport and a Passtime
  • Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  • Steven King, On Writing
  • Jessica Page Morrell, Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us
  • Ursula Le Guin, Steering the Craft
  • Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots, & Leaves
  • Robbin Hobb, Assasin’s Apprentice
  • Pierce Brown, Red Rising Trilogy
  • Ann McCaffery, Dragon Rider Series and Harper Series
  • Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
  • Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones
  • Damon Knight, Creating Short Fiction
  • Christopher Vogler, The Writer’s Journey
  • Shawn Coyne, The Story Grid