And comic books. Seriously. Long before I ever had a science class Superman explained water came from two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen and a lot of energy. Come to think of it, that’s about all I ever did understand about chemistry. Albert Payson Terhune taught me about the love between dog and person, and the superhuman qualities of his Collies. Later years took a lot of the polish off his halo for me but brought an overwhelming appreciation for the value of hard work when writing. Good, bad, indifferent, that man put out the words. From Jack London I learned about the quest to do more and be greater, in dog or human. Walter Farley filled my head with misinformation about horse racing and stimulated the imagination of a horse crazy girl (and isn’t that a rare condition!) Thanks to Bruce Catton and Elswyth Thane I understood more about the Civil War, the battles and the people involved. As well as the continued involvement of a patriotic family (Thane) and how involved some families with each other. From Laurie King I learned the not to be forgotten phrase “Cream of Man Soup” about trench warfare in France. All of these writers stimulated me to more research as I tried to understand the reasons for war. Yeah, good luck on that. Andre Norton showed endless future possibilities and also the value of one small person staying the course in spite of all odds. A most valuable contribution to the growth of an insecure girl. Betty Cavanna and other writers of that ilk spoke to that insecurity and helped ease me into growing past. All of these writers fed my love of words, with Rudyard Kipling bloating me on their power “We’re foot slog slog slog slogging over Africa…” and “The great gray green greasy Limpopo river.” Then one day I read: “Nothing ever happens to me.” and was transported into the world of Romantic Suspense as penned by Mary Stewart, the master of subtle romance. Sure I read books about pillage and kidnapping and Alpha heroes. But I kept coming back to magnificently worded books with people simply doing their best. Add in Helen MacInnes and another dose of Andre Norton and I guess I could say a writer was born. How is it for you? What writers kicked over your rock and sent the creative ants to work?
Monica Stoner, member at Large. Writing as Mona Karel, and working now on a sequel to My Killer My Love…hoping I can come up with an even better title