Authors that Inspire

brenda uleland

Read What You Write or Aspire to Write

Writing well requires reading, right? I find authors in many genres inspire my interests but there are two at the top of my list. Brenda Ueland who died 28 years ago, wrote If You Want to Write, copyright 1938. This book of encouragement about art, independence and spirit is the perfect gift for someone starting or even just thinking about writing.

Ueland’s book rests on my bookshelf beside Stephen King’s On Writing with 13 lessons from this prolific author. If you haven’t read it, the lessons are as follows: just start it, follow your passion, do it for joy, stick to it, don’t be afraid of rejection, find your own writing space, make it unique, make your writing reader-friendly, edit yourself, you cannot please everyone, teach yourself, write a lot and read a lot.

Because I find myself writing in many genres, I have favorites in diverse areas. Jon Krakauer carried me to new heights in Into Thin Air. He even generated the addiction-to-the-ascent feeling in me, even though my mountain climbing days are over. But depending upon my current manuscript research, you will also find me reading A History of Torture by Scott or Stiff by Mary Roach or Memories and Reflections of a Forensic Entomologist — Maggots, Murder, and Men by Erzinclioglu. All are favorites of mine that stimulate my medical murder mystery plots.

On the lighter note of romance, I had no interest in the genre until discovering Montana Sky by Nora Roberts was a wonderful read. After meeting Barb Heinlein as B.J. Daniels at our conference two years ago, I’m hooked on her romantic suspense series set in Montana.

You might say I have a rather schizophrenic approach to reading and writing, but I certainly enjoy the process when these voices talk to me.

Betty Kuffel
Currently working on a bio-thriller

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