Monday, February 19, 2007

A Writer’s Inspiration – subtitle – John Lescroart Rocks

At some point in every writer’s career, they’re asked from whom they drew their inspiration, their writing style. I’ve seen many hum and haw for an answer. Mine’s a snap. John Lescroart rocks my literary world.

Ever since John hit the bookstores, I’ve been right there snapping up every book he cranked out. I’ve lost count of how many he’s written, and who cares? It all comes down to the fact that I’m a loyal fan.

When I began my own writing career I thought about what elements go into making a fan. It’s impossible to answer because reader tastes and criteria are too vast to put it into a nice package with a pretty bow.

For me, however, it’s all about the story and characters. I love lawyer books; Grisham, Tanenbaum, Martini, etc. After reading a bucket load of these books, the stories can sometimes run into each other. Their only saving grace is their character development, and Lescroart takes this to a higher art form. It’s a given that his plots are intriguing and sophisticated, but it’s his characters that keep the story alive. It’s what keep his books fresh, too.

I’ve seen many authors whose series begin to flatten out, as if they’ve tired of the game and their characters. Lescroart allows his main characters Dismas and Abe to mature, to grow, to evolve. This is a very shrewd move because the reader remembers those two characters long after they’ve finished the book. If you’ve read as many of John’s books as I have, you tend to even forget the plot. But it’s his characters that keep you coming back for more. Of course I care about the story, but I also care about whether Dismas will ever spend a little more time working on his marriage and making sure The Beck grows up to be unafraid about life. This is what stays with me long after I’ve finished one of John’s books. And this equals the loyal fan.

Even though we write in completely different genres, I’d analyzed what made me love John’s books and mapped out my own characters to have that same sort of appeal along with an intriguing plot. We oftentimes don’t know whether we’ve hit or missed with our intentions. But a while back I was having a discussion with our distributor and their lead sales rep who had just finished reading my book. Here’s how it went down:

Rep: I read your book. Twice.

Me: Wow, pretty impressive considering it’s over 400 pages

Rep: I know. A 400 page book is usually enough to make me cross eyed, but this read extremely fast. It’s because of how you weave your plot with your character development. You have great dialog and your characters are so three dimensional that they come to life.

Me (extremely flattered): I’m blushing here. Please don’t let me stop you from further gushing.

Rep: Your dialog is a huge asset and is very reminiscent to John Lescroart.

Me (fainting): You – you’ve just compared me to John Lescroart? Excuse me while I die a happy and fulfilled woman.

It just doesn’t get better than that. Well, okay, perhaps if I sold as well as he does. John, wherever you are, just know that we dialogers have to stick together.


SeaSpray said...

How exciting for you to be compared to your favorite author! When you first started reading his books did you ever think, that someday someone would do this - make the comparison? Pretty cool. :)

You have a good blog and I hope it is all right that i blogroll you.

I too am a MBA. I chanced upon Urostream back in October while I was looking up urology info. (I didn't know the blogosphere world existed) I read her entire blog and then went to her links. Urostream, Surgeonsblog and Fat Doctor were my first 3 regulars and still among my favorites.

I initially started a blog because I thought it was the only way I could leave a comment and the rest is history.

I was so surprised when after I had only posted a few times that Fat Doctor said she was linking to me! i was honored and then scared because then I felt the pressure of _"Oh no! Other people are reading???" Then Med Blog Addict and Health psych welcomed me and that gave me more courage to stay.

I am still trying to define my blogging boundaries. I am amazed at the pull I feel on a daily basis to my own blog and others as well.

I really can envision a 12 step program for bloggers. :)

One of my friends doesn't understand the interest, but I am the type who has always written in journals and on scrap pieces of paper etc. - just love words. It has also been a comfort to me while I am home with the health issues that hopefully will be corrected one way or the other in the spring.

Having worked closely with the emergency staff in our local hospital for 20 years,I totally appreciate the exquisite humor on the med blogs. :)

I have a wonderful support system in my personal life and these blogs are just another facet of that.

I look forward to your future posts. may you have a beautiful day. :)

P.S. I love when I begin reading a book series that has been out for awhile or is completed because then i can go from one to the other. Sometimes, I would buy the next two while I am still reading the one before because - God forbid that I should have to wait at all before going to the next one! Then as I get toward the end of the last book I start to feel sad and when it is done - I feel the loss of not being able to continue. :)

Sid Schwab said...

Have you read any James Lee Burke? His Dave Robicheaux series (dissolute New Orleans detective) is another example of good plot woven with well-imagined character.

Being compared to your muse has got to be a huge thrill and validation.

Lynn Price said...

"Being compared to your muse has got to be a huge thrill and validation."

Considering the comparison came from a well-informed source, let's just say I'm still dining on it.

Must go check out Burke's stuff in my spare time. Spare time? Hah, I crack myself up with that notion.