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My influences

If anyone ever wants to know what are my two greatest influences as a writer, they are: The King of the Castle, by Victoria Holt, and Morwenna, by Anne Goring. They are the two first gothic romance novels I ever read, at an age when I knew nothing about the genre. I may have read books since those that are "better," but being the first, they touched my heart with wonder and inspiration so that I absorbed ever detail.

I read Morwenna when I was in the fourth grade. That seems like an age ago, but I remember distinctly the afternoons recesses I spent on the playground reading. As a book it was too advanced for me, but my mind recorded strong impressions from it, high emotions that I have since imparted into my writing.

Both books found me in mysterious ways. I would never, ever think of getting rid of either of them. They are like spiritual objects for me. If I realize I've forgotten the plot of one, I read it again-- and I've read each of them several times. I realized today that they have become part of my mind and my life-- perhaps not so much for their content, or their superiority in the genre, but because of the impressionable age at which I read them.

Just now I was looking for a book to read in transit this evening. Morwenna presented itself to me immediately. As I looked at the back, I read of the lone rider nearly trampling the hapless girl in her childhood-- and I remembered the awe and subversive delight when I recognized her growing love for this fierce, villainous man.

I remembered how Charles nearly tramples Jenny in the driveway when she's running to Raven Oaks one night in desperation and know I drew from that scene, even though it's been years since I've read Morwenna and have no conscious recollection of the scene. I resurrect these scenes not to plaigarize, but because I want to experience them again. Because what my characters experience becomes what I experience. I write the same stories over and over again not because my imagination is limited, but because there are certain places I need to enter again and again.

I also want to mention that every single bit of my writing is stored on a thumb drive in a dark basket next to my desk. If anything happens to me someone needs to keep this.

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