Writer Appreciation Week

There’s something fitting about me finding out about this on a Thursday. It’s a bit like when I fell in love with rock and roll music in the 80s and wished I’d been born in the 50s. Or when I finally got that pair of blue plastic trainers with velcro instead of laces in the late 70s only to discover that everyone had moved on and Converse Hi-Tops were back. But still, at least this time it’s not quite over so I can still join in a little bit.

According to Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent this week is Writer Appreciation Week. As he said back in the heady days of last Monday:

As anyone who has actually tried to write a book knows: it’s hard. Really really hard… so this week: let’s hear it for the writers out there, published and unpublished. We’ll have a series of posts in appreciation of writers, those people who give us hours of entertainment, unsurpassed knowledge, and untold insight.

Hug a writer!

He’s since started a series of posts celebrating writers. Incidentally, I’m ready for those hugs. Form an orderly queue please.

Then I saw over on WordWebbing.com a post taking this idea and running with it, using it as an excuse to thank those writers that have had an impact and thank those people that have helped the writer. What a good idea, I thought.

In that spirit, I’d like to thank the writers that have offered inspiration and imagination to me over the years. Those that have entertained me and amazed me. In no particular order, the world is a better place thanks to:

Alan Moore, beardy genius; Douglas Adams, funny genius (RIP); Garth Ennis, sick and brutal genius; H P Lovecraft, weird genius; Iain Banks, massive imagination genius; J R R Tolkien, the original genius (OG in da house!); Neil Gaiman, prolific mythological genius; Stephen King, scaring me shitless at 14 with It genius (I’ve always hated clowns); Terry Pratchett, alternate universe genius; William Gibson, cyberpunk genius.

OK, that was in a particular order. It was alphabetical, directly from my links page. There are other great writers that have enthralled me over the years – David Eddings, Larry Niven, Robert A Heinlien, Dean Koontz, Philip K Dick, Robert E Howard, Kazuo Koike, James Herbert, C J Cheryh, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula Le Guin (yeah, you thought I was being all mysoginistic for a while there, didn’t you.)

And there are so many more… really, this post could go on indefinitely. But those people listed above are the ones that come readily to mind. And it’s not necessarily true that I’ve loved everything they’ve done – there are writers there that have written books I love and books I loathe. Writers that write a gripping yarn, but never pull off a satisfying ending (yeah, you know who you are, resident of Maine!) And some of those writers up there seem incapable of doing wrong in my eyes. The point is that everyone listed has, at least once, written some thing that absolutely transported me, that inspired awe in me and that reinforced my burning desire to be a writer. They wrote things that made me say, “I want to write things that affect other people like this just affected me!” Hopefully I’m getting closer if I haven’t managed to pull that off just yet. All these are writers that deserve appreciation.

As for thanking those people that have helped me as a writer, there’s my ever supportive wife, family and friends. Some of whom still read the stuff I churn out from time to time. And, of course, everyone else that reads my books, shorts, blog or anything else. I love you all. Mwah!

So what about you? What writers would you like to appreciate this week? Leave some literary names in the comments.

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10 thoughts on “Writer Appreciation Week

  1. Excellent post, Alan.

    Luke Davies, from your neck o’ the woods. That man is a genius with words. I read his novels “Candy” and “Isabelle the Navigator” after I’d finished the first draft of “Waiting For Spring.” His writing is just so incredible…beautiful and brutal at the same time, and it inspired me to go back and put some real guts and grit into my own novel.

  2. Nice post. I did a copycat on my blog. We share a number of favorites: King, Gaiman, Pratchett, Eddings… One author I neglected to mention in my own post was Mark Twain- for his humor, social commentary, and gift of capturing dialect.

  3. Ah, good call, Dave. I even have a Twain quote in the sidebar here. Another one that just occurred to me – Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. Genius!

    I’ll check out your list.

  4. There’s the obligatory Twain and Adams from the above. But this Writer Appretiation Week I’d also like a tip of the hat to Victor Hugo, Chesterton and if you want a more amusing version of Lem look no further than the Strugatsky brothers.

  5. Douglas Adams,
    Mark Twain,
    Shakespeare
    (not trying to be predictable, but I simply LOVE them),
    Robert Heinlein,
    Harry Harrison,
    Isaac Asimov,
    Stephen King,
    Anne Rice.

    Honestly though, Douglas Adams is my writing hero.

  6. Cate – Why, thank you.

    Michael – Good tips, I’ll investigate.

    ganymeder – Good list. How could I have left off the Bard? Discovered in high school and never forgotten. Other than this post, but you know what I mean.

  7. It’s 11:47 a.m. already and no random person has come up yet and given me a hug. The bank teller smile sweetly. I wonder if she was paid to do that or if she appreciates my writing.

    Goodness knows, if I start thanking every writer who helped me one way or another, I’ll sound like a gushing novice on Academy Awards night who thanks the world for his or her award.

    My father, the late Laurence R. Campbell, was a teacher, a journalist, and a great positive influence. So, too, was the late Mike Shaara my best college teacher and a darned fine novelist. I could go on: everything I read has an impact because I allow it to change me. I evolve with a lot of help.

    Malcolm

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