For me it’s Writers and not Books.
I wish I could tell you I sit and read his plays. I do not. But I do read my Shakespeare Page-a-Day calendar every day. For years now, I’ve been studying the day’s page and then ruminating ever-after …wow … by choosing those words and marching them in this order, he means THAT? How could somebody, in just a few lines, capture everything under the sun?
What a Social Conscience! What furniture descriptions! His characters will live forever – Scrooge, Lady Dedlock, Fezziwig, Madame Defarge, and Jarndyce and Jarndyce. When I read Bleak House and saw how he used wit when writing about the legal profession, I knew I must, in my own small way, use whatever wit I possessed when I wrote about corporations and the pharmaceutical industry in Where the What If Roams and the Moon is Louis Armstrong.
Wilkie Collins || Dan Brown
The Victorian - Wilkie Collins / Current Day- Dan Brown. Masters of suspense. Brown’s writing, though erudite and meticulously researched, certainly doesn’t come near the lyricism and soulfulness of Dickens or Collins’; and neither Brown nor Collins have Dickens’ social conscience; but then Dickens doesn’t quite have their ability to make a reader rip through pages to find out what happens.
From Harry Potter to the Strike Cormoran series to Casual Vacancy, I am in awe of her. I cried when Dobie died. She is a master of plot, language and dialect; and of making stuff up; and if there isn’t a word for it, she’ll invent one.
I had the courage to create my What If character because of Lewis Carroll, the King of Creatures Mischievous and Fantastical.
‘Dumbsilly,’ ‘Vermicious Knid,’ ‘The first titchy bobsticle you meet’. Who has captured the mind and the delightful-word-mangling of a child more than Roald Dahl has?
I thought I understood prejudice until I read Mark Twain’s depiction of Jim. I’ve never forgotten that honorable rascal, Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer, that brat in cherub’s clothing.
Harry Stephen Keeler
There he was on Neil Gaiman’s list of favorite bad writers. I had to get my hands on one of his books. I laughed til I cried. And vice versa. Such mouths on characters! And then I found out that Keeler’s mother committed him to a lunatic asylum when he was a child. Alas, nothing! Perhaps, the best bad writer in the whole world was born.