I love Kelly Link. Not only is she a fabulous person, but she is a fantastic writer and editor. In fact, she’s one of the main reasons I wanted to attend Clarion. There’s a new interview with her at Strange Horizons, and I highly recommend her book Stranger Things Happen.
I’ve been thinking of the books that have influenced my writing (which is probably a stupid thing to do because every book you read inevitably influences your writing, good or bad), and it is slowly growing – Stranger Things Happen is on that list, specifically the story, The Girl Dectective. The other two, so far, are Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness and Frank Miller’s Sin City, especially The Hard Goodbye. Okay, I guess I could also put Borges on that list, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s The Red Heart of Memories, and then there’s Isabelle Allende and Pablo Neruda, and Charles de Lint, and…the list goes on, forever and forever. Let me keep thinking about this.
Oh, but before I do, here’s an example of a beautiful line, a beautiful description, sparse and elegant:
Frank Miller, The Hard Goodbye
When you’re writing, you have to know your story, your prose – what it needs, how it reflects your characters. I’m still learning how to do this – I don’t think you ever stop learning – but lines like that help remind me of what it can be when you get it right.