Here be Jeffe!
Hi, yes, I'm one of the newest additions to the Here Be Magic blog. The other Carina fantasy and paranormal authors tried to gently discourage me, but I wouldn't be stopped!
Actually everyone has been so generous and lovely to me. My fantasy doesn't come out until July, but I get to hang out here and yack about it. Which is really just a thrill. I grew up reading fantasy and now I get to contribute something back.
It feels magical.
I've mentioned before on my own blog, how much I loved Anne McCaffrey's books and how saddened I was by her passing. So, lately I've been going back and rereading my favorites. This has been an interesting exercise for me. Though I've read most of her books at least twice, some maybe as many as ten or twelve times, I hadn't read any for at least twenty years.
I went back to the very first book of hers I ever read, DragonSong, which may have been the first ever "real" science fiction book I ever read. (It's labeled Sci Fi on the spine.) I was ten years old and I found it in the school library. (Thank you librarians everywhere!) It was a hard-back copy, covered in that cellophane they use. I can't quite recall the cover, but it was alluring. I've posted the cover of the sequel, DragonSinger, here because it's the original paperback cover. I used to have a copy of DragonSong with similar art, but I lent it to someone and never got it back. I miss that copy. It may have been the first time that I read a library book and then went out and bought my own copy. The edition I have now has a stupid 80s cover. I have no idea what they were thinking.
At any rate, I discovered something shocking when I re-read these old books.
I totally rip off Anne McCaffrey in my own writing.
I know, I know. This is a terrible thing. Except I had no idea I was doing it!
It's maybe not that obvious, but I can see my own favorite turns of phrase were clearly laid into my brain by all that reading. "A keen sense of the ridiculous." "That's an invidious question." And countless other word choices, small and large.
There's more. I recognize my character interactions in her books. The way she combines personal relationships with world politics.
I recall in art class, they said the best way to learn is to recreate the paintings of the masters. You follow in their footsteps and learn how they did it. Growing up with my nose in a book maybe did this for me. The rhythm of all the great stories I read are laid into my brain, guiding my way.
I just hope I can come close to what they did.