Just recently I was ask, "as an aspiring writer, who do I read and admire?" So that got me thinking. I do tend to read authors whom I like to imagine write like my style or do I write like those I like to read? This question was almost literally like opening a can of worms. Lets just say I read books by authors who write like how I WISH I could write; rather I do or not is up to your opinion. They write characters who are witty, sarcastic, flawed, ya know? Strong women who have a vulnerable side that enders you towards them. They love the dark, mysterious, good hearted loner/bad boy.
These authors are smart women who frankly, I am jealous of! Jeri Smith-Ready, C.E. Murphy, Michelle Sagara are among the few I read. I blaze through their books as soon as they are released.
Patricia Briggs is another I read. Mercy Thompson, one of her well-known characters, is one of my favorite people err characters EVER!
Anne Rice, I don't even dream to write like her. I normally read books by authors whose talent I am a tiny bit jealous of, but its pointless to be jealous of Rice. Jealousy is thinking they have something you should or could have. I know I will never be Anne Rice like. I admire her talent and that's that. Its as pointless as the moon being jealous of the sun's brightness. The moon is bright and great on its own. I use to say I don't want to be the next Anne Rice; I'm fine with being the only Casse. Which is true. All jealousy aside.
What I admire about these wonderful ladies are:
Anne Rice's lyrical style. Her knowledge and her ability to evolve a story from paper and paint it as a moving masterpiece. One can't blaze through her books. You have to sit, read and absorb it and have the story haunt you as you lie awake in bed.
C.E Murphy's dedication to research and her wit alone is enough to make me admire her. Not many people have that drive. And very few people can train themselves to develop it. All her characters are lovable even the bad guys. And if dragons, vampires and djinn were believable, then it would be her's.
Jeri Smith-Ready's every girl sensibility leaps out and grabs you. Jeri's ability to be friend you from her pages is irresistible. Her humor and her quick wit and her ability to write the most realistic, everyday characters. She is like the girl next door only a lot well...cooler! Yes, you can say she is girl crush worthy lol.
Michelle Sagara's world building is breath-taking. Oh Em GEEE! I open her book and it leaps off the pages and I am standing in an unheard of world and it is vibrant and the people are alive and seamless. From first word to the very last period and everything in-between I am hanging on every single world.
Marie Brennan I think has the smartest dialog in the history of words on a pad. Honestly. Her characters knowledge blows me away. And I feel so much smarter after reading her book. Well the same with C.E Murphy. I believe it is the amount of knowledge and hours a research these ladies are willing to do and the amount of love they have for the research. I always say it's fiction so who is to say how things work in MY world. I am lazy and Sagara-West so is NOT lazy in research.
Patricia Briggs's honesty, characters and her ability to truly tell a story worth telling. And oh yeah I find it worth hearing. And another great point to prove this lady writes her butt off and creates GREAT characters, can you say Adam Hauptman? Mmmm girl! Throw in Dr. Samuel Cornick and be still my over stimulated heart.
These are the rock stars in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance loving world. The only non-fantasy writer I read religiously is Virginia Kantra, The Children of the Sea...wait that is still paranormal. :-) I guess I am just a fantasy girl. But Kantra's world is so close to real life I think it IS real life. Too bad I can't swim because her men are HAWWWT! The worlds and characters she builds are spectacular. All I can say is her stories are like real life, if in my real life sexy, mysterious men popped naked from the ocean everyday with soft fur flung over their shoulders. :-) Heck, a girl can wish right?!