If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has many meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric. ~Summer Ross

Thursday, December 30, 2010

inside those pages

I'm writing this up on the fly because all these words are roaming around in my head. I am reading this book called The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and while I'm reading I'm not only captivated by her story, but her rich deeper meaning to a writer and a reader.

Her words are reaching me on levels very few books do, and I find myself in awe of her abilities. She has put into words how I feel about writing. The longing that thrives there on the pages is the same longing that takes over my heart. I want to write this way I think to myself. I'm taken back by this author.

 So I looked her up, and what do I find? She has only written one best selling book, the one I am reading and it was in 2007!

I find this is the problem with me. Its curious to me that the books that touch my deeper levels, my inner writing fairy, are books that are the only ones to that author. Now I realize Diane Setterfield could still write another book, which I will be on the lookout for, but this is not the first time this has happened to me.

 Another book that touched me deeply was written back long ago- The Monk by Matthew Lewis. When I read his book I realized right away what touched me deep in his book as well- It was how his story played out- not the characters, not the actual story story. But imagine, if you will, stringing so many different loops together in 8 weeks and bringing the end of the book right up to the first sentence it started with, then overlapping them so many times and still following through with each individual string of a character and their drive. It was an amazing read! I found myself floored by this author- just as I am by Diane Setterfield.

I'm still Working my way through this current read- but I can tell you now it will become a great favorite and I will dive into it's pages many times just to recapture my heart of a writer inside those pages.

I wish I could express the emotions these two books have caused inside me, but the words escape me- any words I could use would only be a remake of what these authors have already said in a much more profound way then I ever could.

 So how does it work, they say write in the way you like to read, but I have no one area I read- Fantasy, non-fiction, Literary, Romance...they are all wonderful genres and I do not find one or the other more to my liking then others...Diane's book has a literary feel and Lewis's book is a Gothic novel, and if these are the books that touch me and these are the books that are my favorite how would I write in this kind of mixed genre?

 Do all books touch you this deeply? Is there one or two that have reached you on a level you never knew an author could take you? Tell me your experience with this issue...


Jessica Bell said...

Yes! Marilynne Robinson's 'Housekeeping'. Nicole has finished reading it. You often meet her face to face, right? You should borrow it off her!

Jessica Bell said...

Hmm, I could have the wrong 'Summer' in mind, I just realised. If so, I'm so sorry! How embarrassing ...

Summer Ross said...

LOL, Jessica- no worries, you do have the wrong Summer for meeting other bloggers face to face, but thank you for the book tip.

LTM said...

I've often wondered why writers will do that--write an amazing, fantastic first novel and then do nothing else. Like Harper Lee, for example.

In any case, this has happened to me. But I try to still use the inspiration and learn from them.

Happy New Year, Summer! :o) <3

Anonymous said...

What touches me more than anything is the story itself. The way it's written, the characters, all that jazz is just sugar on top. The story is what sells it for me.

I try to find something wonderful in every book I read. But the ones that touch me the most are the ones that I can only categorize as "beautiful": Harry Potter, of course, and "Lisey's Story" by Stephen King are two of my absolute favorites. They reach deep inside me every time I pick them up and just touch something that seems to die between readings.

As for writing in a mixed genre, why confine yourself? Write what YOU feel most inclined to write, whatever that may be.

And a gothic fairy novel would be something beautiful indeed. ;o)

K.M. Weiland said...

Don't you love books that not only captivate you as a reader, but also inspire you as a writer? The Thirteenth Tale has a special place in my heart, in large part because it captures so well the reason I read and write.

Summer Ross said...

LTM- happy new year to you as well, and I think I will draw off the inspiration I find in both of these books.

E.Elle- Honestly I have never read any of the HP books, but my daughter really enjoys them.

K.M.- Yes I am loving them

Carol Riggs said...

I've written The 13th Tale book down on my Books To Read list. Sounds like something I'd want to read, if only to see if I connect to it like you do. I have experienced that feeling before in books--the writing thrills me. Ray Bradbury's writings often do it, as well as the writing style of Ingrid Law's Savvy and Suzanne Supplee's Artichoke's Heart. I think it's different for every person--kind of like connecting with people in real life. You mesh and are on the same wavelength or whatever, or you don't/aren't.

Summer Ross said...

carol- it is worth reading, thanks for some other titles I will check them out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

For a while there, my favorite author was cranking out 3-4 a year!!
Richard Adams' Watership Down was that type of book for me.

B.E.T. said...

Great conundrum you have there. And, heck, you can put a literary feel/twist/whatever on anything really. And maybe that rule doesn't necessarily dictate genre, but just content or something. :) Regardless, I'm glad you found an author and a book you're gaga about. I hope she comes out with more stuff for you!

Summer Ross said...

L. Diane- I have seen that movie but never read the book, I'll look the author up.

B.E.T- Thank you!

Taryn Tyler said...

I loved the Thirteenth Tale! An amazing toead to savor on a stormy night with a cup of cocoa.
Probably the book that influenced me as a writer the most --or made me think THIS is what i want to write like --was Lloyd Alexander's Westmark trylogy.

The Words Crafter said...

I loved that book, too, but I don't think any of my friends did. Strange, huh?

I've had this happen a few times to me, too. And it's disappointing. I want more and sometimes it's just not there.

There's a great book that's several years old called Phantom. You should check it out...

Summer Ross said...

Taryn and Words Crafter- I'll check those ones out. Thank you

Old Kitty said...

I remember crying while travelling in the train to work as I read Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger because it was so moving and beautiful so of course I immediately thought I'd read all his others. But to my disappointment nothing he'd written before or since Sacred Hunger moved me so much!!!

Anyway!! I guess it's always best to write the story you want to read and not worry about the genre. I know that's not much help when you are actively seeking agent representation or publication! LOL!! But I guess if you try too hard fitting into a genre the writing will only suffer. I hope that makes sense!! Take care

Summer Ross said...

Old Kitty- That's a good point!

N. R. Williams said...

I feel I have less and less of this experience as I learn the writing craft, which is sad on the one hand. I was amazed at Harry Potter, the fact that J.K. introduced something in book one and had it realized in book seven, without lecturing the reader with "now remember when you learned this, well it's important."
The stories that truly captured me were the ones I read when I was young, Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tokien and the Narnia books.
I think I will have to read the two you have recommended.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Summer Ross said...

N.R.~ It is strange because no other books have touched me like this- even in my younger years, not this profoundly at least.

Jessica Hill said...

The books that touch me the most deeply (and there have been many) are ones that I can identify with the easiest - they speak to some certain part of me, or something that I've been through.

As far as writing in a "mixed genre," I just say write what you want, how you want. There can certainly be elements from multiple genres in your writing. I'm like you, I read various genres, and I pull inspiration from anything and everything. I still haven't found my "niche," so I've tested the waters on several genres. A lot of what I write could be considered one genre, but they still do carry elements from other genres as well. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that!

Laura Eno said...

I have found that certain books touched me at particular moments in my life, but I would not have that reaction to them now. It's wonderful when a story can speak to you that way.

Thank you for finding my blog - however you did - and leading me back to yours!

Shannon said...

Yes, the author I read and want to grow up and be like is Jacquline Carey. Her Kushiel Dart series is amazing, the characters and storyline so believable, so real that I feel I could take a wrong turn one day and meet them.

Francine Howarth said...


Thanks for dropping by my New Year blog post.

Lovely thought provoking post is this, and yes I do have a book that struck a chord and has stayed with me ever since: "The Magus" by John Fowles. It was the first book written by a man in which the descriptions not only brought the place alive, the characters alive, it was the first time of seeing a woman and desire for that woman through a man's eyes (weird and wonderful though it was). Greater insight came too, with that of his inner self-restraint battling with instinctive desire to ravish and plunder.

It was/is a memorable book, and has helped me understand the levels of restraint sometimes required by men to resist the wrong kind of provocative female instigated temptations, and when the time is right to succumb to those temptations! Basically, helped me no end in writing from male perspective in my own novels. ;)


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