This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge–blogging every day in the month of April (except Sundays!) with each letter of the alphabet.
As an author, books have always been a huge part of my life. Even as a pre-teen and teen I was an avid book reader, even though at that time in one’s life reading recreationally makes you a geeky loser. I was totally a geeky loser and I didn’t care. I wasn’t good at sports and I certainly wasn’t hanging out with the popular kids and doing whatever fun stuff popular kids do, so books it was. Paper books, of course, because e-book readers didn’t even exist then so I could at least pretend I was just playing Candy Crush on my Kindle.
Throughout my life, some books have stood out above others for the impressions they left on me. I will chronicle them here:
The First Book That Left An Impression: Hilariously and ironically, I have no idea what it was called. I can’t remember the title, the author, or even enough of the plot to track it down on Google. I just remember when I was 12-13, I must have checked this novel-length YA book out of the library at least six times and read it over and over. I remember a friend making fun of me because I was reading it yet again. I only remember there was a boy and some sort of subterranian world. I almost want to say it was called ‘Downtown,’ but I don’t know. I just remember the feeling it gave me, how fascinated and infatuated I was.
The First Book That Changed My Life: Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat. I had never even heard of her or the series. I was 15-16 and I picked it up at a rummage sale for twenty-five cents because it had the word ‘vampire’ in the title and I was a morbid teenager. It literally changed my life. If you’ve read it, you know at the beginning Lestat is a trapped, restless, depressed, and isolated man who longs for adventure and to have an interesting life–exactly how I saw myself at that point in my life. I wanted to escape. I wanted life to begin. I remember crying during parts of it and reading it slowly so it wouldn’t end.
The Book(s) That Made Me Want To Be A Writer: Stephen King’s novels were the impetus for me trying my hand at writing. I was in love with horror as a teenager and wanted to write just like him. I hope to meet him someday and tell him this. My favorite Stephen King book is probably Misery (oh to be so loved as an author!), and my favorite story is The Body (which became the movie Stand By Me).
The Book Series That Put A Crick In My Neck: The Harry Potter series. I binge-read the first four, rolling around on my bed, sitting in recliners, hanging off couches, my eyes glazing over. I did the same when each of the other three came out.
My First Urban Fantasy: Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Being largely an urban fantasy author myself, it was the first time I encountered the genre–which I think, when she first started, was not even called urban fantasy. I felt like I’d finally found exactly what I wanted to write–a sexy, dangerous premise where love and horror combined.
How about you? Are there books that were your ‘firsts’ and left an impression on you? What are your all-time favorite books?