"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." — Madeleine L'Engle

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Guest Post: Shawn Thomas Odyssey (The Wizard of Dark Street)

Today stopping by the blog is Shawn Thomas Odyssey, author of The Wizard of Dark Street! He's here to tell us a bit about his favorite books and his recommendations.

Reading is a part of writing. It is a cycle. Put something in and something comes back out. The more diverse the input, the more original the output. For instance, if a writer reads nothing but cold war spy novels, then what comes out of them will likely be pretty similar. But if they threw in, let’s say, some Ray Bradbury, a little Tom Robbins and a few Cormack McCarthy novels, something very different might take place. Maybe they’d still write a spy novel, but it might take place on a desolate, post apocalyptic Mars and involve deciphering secret messages through smelling various bottles of perfume. (Hey, I kind of like that). The books that a writer puts into his or her head are likely the biggest influences on their work, whether they are aware of it or not.

Interestingly, as I think about the books that I have read over the past few years, especially the ones I was reading during the writing and editing process of The Wizard Of Dark Street, I’m struck by the interesting and eclectic range of words and stories I’ve been putting into my head, some of them in my genre of writing, and many of them not. One thing I’m sure of, however: if it’s a book I loved, it influenced me in some way as a writer. Heck, if I loved it, it influenced not only my writing but my life: the way I think and behave. Even if the book was nothing like my chosen genre, I can guarantee it still had an impact on what I was typing. It’s like it all gets scrambled up in my head, most of it I think on the subconscious level, and then sits there, stewing, marinating, waiting for the right moment; waiting for the muse to scoop it up and present the dish to the judges in a form that I, the author, would never have been able to predict.

Here is a list of some of the books I read and loved over the past few years while writing The Wizard of Dark Street. Not nearly all of them.

Pillars of the Earth: Ken Follett

World Without End: Ken Follett

The Harry Potter series: J.K. Rowling

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Lemony Sincket

Leaving the Bellweathers: Kristin Clark Venuti

Ender’s Game: Orson Scott Card

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell: Susanna Clark

The Green Mile series: Stephen King

Echo falls mystery series: Peter Abrahams

The Name of The Wind: Patrick Rothfuss

1984: George Orwell

The Road: Cormac McCarthy

A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving

Lord of the Rings: J.R.R Tolkin

A song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones): by George R. R. Martin.

The Wizard of Dark Street is available in bookstores nationwide and online in both hardback and eBook formats.

Please visit: http://www.thewizardofdarkstreet.com/

Where you can find Shawn:

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