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Karin Rita Gastreich – The Footsteps I Follow: Authors I Admire

The Footsteps I Follow: Authors I Admire

Guest post by Karin Rita Gastreich, author of Eolyn

I’ve read many, many books over the years, so the list of authors I admire has grown very long; too long, really, to do justice to them all in a single blog post.  Here are a few, however, whose names always come up whenever someone asks about my favorite authors:

Gioconda Belli is a Nicaraguan poet and author.  I first came to know her through her memoir The Country Beneath My Skin, which relates her experience as a Nicaraguan woman during the Sandinista revolution.  Her fiction and poetry is best read in Spanish, but the English translation of The Country Beneath My Skin is very good.  I love the poetry of her prose, and I especially admire the boldness with which she speaks about the female perspective and experience in all spheres of life.

Phillipa Gregory’s historical fiction novels have captivated me for a long time.  One of the main reasons I keep coming back to Gregory is her focus on women in history.  Her characters, both male and female, are vivid, complex, and believable.  I also admire Gregory’s capacity to create tension in the context of well-known stories, as for example in The Other Boleyn Girl.  In many ways, my own writing is an effort to accomplish for the genre of fantasy what Phillipa Gregory has done for the genre of historical fiction: to reinstate women as central characters in the dramas of their time.

No fantasy author’s list of favorites would be complete without J.R.R. Tolkien.  This magnificent author set the bar in terms of what it means to write an epic tale, the depth and richness that one must capture when painting the cultural and historical backdrop against which our characters’ lives unfold.  He also immortalized what for me is one of the best fantasy creatures ever imagined:  the Ent.  The main character of my own fantasy novels, Eolyn, is named after Eowyn, a shield maiden of Rowan who plays an important role in the The Lord of the Rings series.

A recent addition to my list of favorite authors is xxxxx xxxxxx, who wrote The Age of Wonder.  This work chronicles the lives and work of scientist, poets, and authors of the Romantic period in England.  I tend to read a lot of history, and I very much enjoy authors like xxxxxxx who bring historical figures and times to life.  One sees these were not stiff characters predestined for greatness, but human beings who lived the same passions, desires, doubts and disappointments that we do today.

As long as we are on the topic of history, I should also mention Elizabeth Lev, one of many authors reconstructing the stories of all the women who have played an important role in history and yet somehow get left out of the standard texts.  Lev’s book The Tigress of Forli relates the story of Caterina Sforza, one of the most formidable women of Renaissance Italy.  Lev, xxxxxx, and other talented history writers show us time and again that truth can be stranger than fiction.

Well, I’m over my 500 word limit, though I am far from the end of my list of favorite authors.  I’d love to hear from all of you on this topic.  Who are your favorite authors and why?  Is there anyone whose work you would like to emulate?  Comment away; I’d like to add some good books to my reading list!


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Genre - Fantasy

Rating – PG13

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Website http://eolynchronicles.blogspot.com

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Karin Gastreich said...

Goodness -- noticed a major editing snafu a little too late on this one. The author of AGE OF WONDER is Richard Holmes. I'm very sorry about that! Just insert his name wherever you see the x's. And thank you, Just My Opinion, for having me on your blog today!

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