Monday, February 8, 2010

Feeling a Connection

I read a novel last week. Devoured it, actually. Turned out to be one of those gripping pull-you-in stories. With an endearing I-could-know-her main character.

It was The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve. Have you read it?

I hadn't read anything of hers before, though she'd been on my list. She's one of those names, you know? When you're a writer trying to be a novelist, you have to be aware of those names. Especially in your genre. And when I saw this title at an antiques store, stuffed among paperbacks marked for a dollar, I snatched it up like a good girl.

One of the best bucks I ever spent, the book was so great.

And can I tell you something? I identified with Shreve's writing, with her style and flow. They clicked for me. Like they were, well, similar to mine. Comparable. Not as a wannabe to an acclaimed author, not anything so presumptuous. But from one creative to another, in expression, in method. Do you know what I mean?

It was exciting, charging, inspiring. And neat, to find one whose writing feels familiar to what mine is becoming.

Have you ever felt that way?

36 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh yes! I know what you mean. I just got a free book in the mail from Moody and started reading it thinking oh well, I'll try it. Immeditely I was pleased as she writes what I want to write!

Jen said...

When I visited my local library one year I found a book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, I was able to identify with her as a writer, the way she embraced each character and situation. I had been given so much inspiration at that point and now there is no stopping me. I want to read everything she writes the moment it comes out!

giddymomof6 said...

Ooh! I love finding a new author--especially one who has been published for awhile. It's like Christmas all over again!

Jenni

Shelby said...

YES!! I know exactly what you mean.. it's like that for me when I read Dorothea Benton Frank.. she gets me.. or I get her I guess.

wonderful post.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Yes, I probably have felt that most with Elizabeth Berg's books. I did read The Pilot's Wife and also identify with Shreve. She was one I wrote on my list of authors I would like to read more of.

You and me, Baby!
~ Wendy

Janna Qualman said...

Yes yes, Wendy! Elizabeth Berg is another for me.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I loved that book! One of my favorites!

Tess said...

That one is on my shelf. It's a keeper.

Don't you just love novels that steal you away like that? fun.

Slamdunk said...

I am not familiar with that book, but I can relate to finding a similar writing style (for me it is the authors that I want to learn the most from).

Tony Hillerman and Homer Hickam are two authors that I feel that way about.

septembermom said...

That is awesome how you felt that connection as reader and writer. I'm reading Anita Shreve's "Testimony" right now. It is a page turner for sure.

I felt a strong connection with Denise Levertov's poetry recently. Her voice kind of reminded me of where my voice is heading poetically. It was an exciting moment for me too.

Michelle Gregory said...

as for unpublished authors, the one i most connect with is my writing partner. we both write fantasy. her style is similar to mine. as for published, i love anything by Mary Connealy (romantic comedy with cowboys).

Tamika: said...

Not quite. I'm reading a lot of great fiction lately that pushes me to greater limits, though. I appreciate that, because I know my writing needs the charge.

thedomesticfringe said...

I want to read that book too. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Joanne said...

That's a great book, which was also a movie too. What I love about finding an author like that is that now you have their whole collection of books to discover and enjoy!

Diane said...

Super find for a dollar. Great to find a similar voice too!

Hope you'll join me for how "Cupid Shot Me" day at my bog www.dianeestrella.com :O)

jcaddell said...

Wow! A book for a dollar! Awesome! Unfortunately a lot of book resale stores around here are folding up. :( Glad you found a connection with this book!

Melanie Avila said...

I read that AGES ago. I remember that I really liked it and always keep an eye out for her books. I know I've read several but can't recall the specific titles right now.

I also feel that connection with Jodi Picoult.

Ha. My wv is "litiest". I am the most literary of them all!

Lisa Marie Miles said...

I love when that happens with books. I'll put that one on my list.
Is it weird if I say I identify with the writing of Judy Blume? I think I write very simple and straightforward. I wish I could be more flowery and descriptive (I'm working on it), but I'm not.

JKB said...

I love that you had that! Isn't it the best feeling ever?

I'll have to put that one on my TBR list! Kudos to you sweetie! :-))))

Jody Hedlund said...

I love when that happens! Makes you just want to read it again and study the pages, doesn't it, and pray their magic rubs off on you.

Melissa Marsh said...

I read Shreve's WW2 book, Resistance, and really enjoyed it. She has a very unique writing style and from what I can tell, yours is very similar. :-)

There was a writer that I read way back in high school - her name was Serena Richards - and I really felt as if her books emulated the style I wanted to write.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Yes! I love it when that happens! That's such a great gift!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Isn't that a cool feeling?

You know, I always wonder if someone "of those writers" would ever pick up my book(s) and read and think that about me or my writing - wouldn't that be cool *smiling*

I read the Snow book of hers, but nothing else yet - I'll have to check out that one!

Journaling Woman said...

I will read it. Sometimes we do identify with other writers. I can see why you feel that way.

patti said...

YESSSS!
LOVED The Pilot's Wife!

Janna, I feel like this CONSTANTLY!!!
Check out my website reviews sometime!!!

The latest that grabbed me?
Lord of Death.

Two other grippers?
The Help
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.

Am ready for you to suggest another!!!

Karen said...

Yes, and it's so fun when you happen upon a new author, or new to you. I'll write that one down. :)

Katie Ganshert said...

I had the EXACT same experience just a while ago when I read Talking to the Dead. I felt SO intune to the book. I felt so connected, because I felt like she was my writing double. Like I understood her voice and what she was trying to say. I identified with her.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Aren't book bargains fun? Glad you found a kindred spirit. :)

I'll have to check this one out.

Blessings,
Susan

Angie Muresan said...

I completely get what you mean! I have read all of Anita Shreve's books. She is awesome as a writer, even if I don't identify with her.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I know what you mean. I just finished a novel and felt the same way. I thought, "that seems do-able, like something I'd feel and express."

I think good writing is a bridge for us and between us.

I noticed that Patti wrote about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Well, that was a simple read that didn't have lots of layers of complexity, but for some reason I zoomed through it and it stayed with me for days. I wish that the author was still alive so that I could enjoy more.

Have a great week. I'm enjoying working on my middle grade novel. It takes me away!

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Jeanette Levellie said...

Yes, I have. It's a God moment. But I have to be careful when I read favorite authors, not to imitate their voice. I love Max Lucado so much I once told the Lord, "I want to be the female Max Lucado of Christian writing." He said, "Why don't you be the female Jeanette Levellie of Christian writing?"
aha.

Deb Shucka said...

Anita Shreve is one of my favorites. I love that you relate to her style, and that you've discovered her. You have tons to look forward to.

It's Terry Tempest Williams for me in terms of hearing a voice that feels familiar and makes my heart do funny things.

Jessica said...

I've heard a lot of good things about that author but never read her before.

I know what you mean about similar styles. There's this one author and I'm so afraid I'll be accused of plagiarizing the author because a few times I've read said author's books and found phrases similar to mine. How humbling, to know I didn't make up a great sentence, and how paralyzing to think someone might say I copied someone else.

Can you tell I'm paranoid? LOL

It's nice though, to feel that connection. :-)

Stephen Tremp said...

Not yet, but conversely I like to think I write as other authors, at least to an extent. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are two of my favorites. Dean Koontz another. One can easily see elements of their style weaved into my writing style. Who knows, maybe one day they'll reciprocate. LOL!

Stephen Tremp

Analisa said...

Yes I read this a number of years ago and I know what you mean. You just click with a writer as if they were a close friend. Then you are gripped by this story they are telling you. I felt that way when I read Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie. Sometimes I would just get amazed at how the words were strung together like a poem.

文章 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.