watching, reading, and writing stories

My Top 5 Inspiring Book Series Authors

So I’ve enjoyed a lot of good books in my life that have influenced me and inspired me. Some were novels; one good book that I really enjoyed, but often I’ve found myself engrossed in a series of books. Which is fine with me because I get to read more about the characters I’ve already connected with and see an author expand on their universe. There are several authors who have written a series that has a special place in my heart and impacted my own writing. I could read them again and again. So, here we go with a count down for My Top 5 Inspiring Book Series Authors.

Number 5 is C.S. Lewis for his Chronicles of Narnia series.

Monochrome head-and-left-shoulder photo portrait of 50-year-old Lewis

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I’ve grown up with these books and enjoyed rereading them on several occasions. I love the characters, especially Lucy and Eustice. But all of the characters are so wonderful. And I enjoy the British accent I can easily slip into if I read it out loud. But I also just love the way these books connect to my life as a Christian and getting to see the themes of Christianity woven throughout the seven books. I especially love the way Lewis describes what heaven is like in the last book. In any case, I could reread this series at the drop of a hat and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. And I hope that in my own work my beliefs will come through just as they did for Lewis.

Number 4 is Brian Jacques for his Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series.

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I didn’t discover this series until I was older, in high school I believe. I had read one or two of Jacques’s other books about the mice. But I never got caught up into that series. However, with Castaways I couldn’t help myself, these books were full of adventure, excitement, a boy and dog going on amazing adventures and joking with each other along the way. I’ve reread them, especially my favorite parts over and over and it has influenced my own writing as well. It’ll always have a place on my bookshelf and I hope that my own writing is just as full of adventure.

Number 3 is Rick Riordan for his Percy Jackson series.

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I didn’t hear about this series till I was in college, but as I saw the kids I helped with at a middle school reading them, I was intrigued. Riordan has a comedic style of writing that keeps his audience giggling, yet he also comes up with the most fantastic adventures. He’s continued his writing with several other series, though I haven’t read them all. Percy will be a classic for me and I hope to reread the series sometime soon and perhaps learn something new from Riordan’s style of writing and incorporate it into my own.

Number 2 is John Flanagan for his Rangers Apprentice series.

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Another great series that I was not aware of till after college, I quickly became a fan and read all twelve books in one summer. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting the author and it was a great experience. In any case, all of these books are enjoyable to me and the characters’ development are so well done. Though I may have written them a bit differently if I was the author, I cannot help but be impressed and hope that my own writing and character development may eventually be just as good.

And finally number 1 is Michael and Jeff Shaara for their Civil War series.

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In contrast to all of the other books I’ve mentioned these are meant for adults and would not be categorized as youth fiction. All of Shaara’s books are historical fiction. But boy can these guys bring the past to life. History books have nothing on these fantastic novels. I started with Michael’s “The Killer Angels” and soon got wrapped up in the prequel and sequel that Jeff wrote. And since then I’ve read every single book that Jeff Shaara has written. I’m currently reading “The Fateful Lightning” and it’s just as good. Though the style may not be what I’m going for in my own writing, I hope to become better at researching for my own books and bring some realism to my own work.

Looking back at this list of authors gives me much encouragement. Many of these authors have inspired movies and although the quality of the movies may not compare to the original writing, it is still impressive to me. I hope one day my own books will inspire other authors just as these ones have inspired me to write.

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The history of my love for history

I know I haven’t posted in awhile, and I finally have a bit of free time, so I decided to dedicate a post to something I care a lot about, but haven’t ever written about on this blog. By looking at the title, I’m sure you have a pretty good guess as to what I’m writing about.

Well here it goes, I love Civil War History. It all started with my older brother and my dad. They both love exploring old battle sites, quizzing each other on odd facts, and just reading about times long gone. They love most of American History, but what got me hooked was the Civil War.

You see this PBS special came on when I was little, you’ve probably heard of it, the Ken Burns one. Well some of it really caught my attention, and the music was very memorable to me. It wasn’t something I got excited about watching, but once I started, I found it was hard to stop.

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Well, when I got a bit older, I was introduced to Gettysburg, the three-hour-long spectacle made in the 90s. At first I didn’t see the appeal, but as my brother and father watched and rewatched the movie, I started to get it. The characters were hilarious, all their banter and wit drew my affection and I found myself cheering for my favorites as they went into battle.

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Then the final straw happened; my family went on vacation and while we were exploring, we came across the battle site of Gettysburg. Before we left the on site gift shop, I purchased a book that would change my reading life forever: Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels. It was the book that spurred the Gettysburg movie. I was thrilled to find all my favorite characters from the movie, along with new dialogue and inner thoughts that the movie had no time to include.

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And once I finished that book, I found that Jeff Shaara had continued the legacy by writing a prequel and sequel to the Killer Angels. From that time on I couldn’t stop reading about generals and foot soldiers. Every book Jeff Shaara wrote, was soon in my hands. And I was thrilled when in the past couple of years he decided to return to the Civil War age and write another series about the major battles in the West.

So if there’s anyone out there who needs a good book to read, I would happily suggest any Shaara book. I myself will be starting his newest book “The Smoke at Dawn” shortly.

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