The writers that inspire the writers

by | 09/08/19

As walkers of the PR world, reading is a big part of our lives. We have an office full of books on every topic and our houses are just the same.

Since it’s #NationalBookLoversDay the conversation of favourite authors came up in the office, we thought we’d share the authors that have inspired us as writers and entertained us as book lovers.

Dave – Terry Pratchett

When asked by the WorkPR team who was my favourite author, in celebration of national book lover’s day, I had no hesitation in answering Sir Terry Pratchett. I’m not that old, but I still feel that he and his amazing catalogue of fantasy novels have been part of my life, since reading the first in the mid-80s.

With 41 books in his amazing and deeply insightful Discworld series alone, there was always something new just around the corner and not having to wait too long for the next instalment was one of his great strengths.

The books I love so much are set in, or more accurately on the Discworld, a flat earth-like planet, balanced on four elephants, standing on a giant turtle swimming through space – already more imaginative than most authors could dream of. A mix of races rub along or not and long before it was fashionable Sir Terry was creating strong female lead characters to ensure readers understood the need to combat racism, sexism and vampires.

I have lost count of the times I have re-read ‘The Colour of Magic’ (his first Discworld story) or indeed any of his other laugh-out-loud masterpieces, but suffice to say, one does not grow out of Pratchett – the finest compliment I could pay an author who understood the need for stories and humour to work on different levels for different readers.

Hollywood is yet to deliver the big-budget blockbuster his stories deserve, but chances are they would ruin it and casting would not match my imagination, so I’m happy with the books I love left unsullied by corporate filmmakers.

Sadly, in a bitter twist for such a creative mind, Sir Terry died from Alzheimer’s disease in March 2015. All I can do is thank him for the legacy he left and the number of great stories he left for me to read and re-read.

Ben – Daniel Handler (aka. Lemony Snicket)

I grew up reading the A Series Of Unfortunate Events books, which were unlike anything I’d ever read.

From the first paragraph, in which Snicket implores the reader to stop reading, the stories constantly play with the format, with unexpected twists and no happy endings.

His trademark of defining the more obscure words in the story is a great educational tool that never feels condescending; a word which here means assuming a teenager isn’t interested in learning new words which he can later use to describe how he learnt them.

Handler’s other works – such as Adverbs and Why We Broke Up – are just as enjoyable, with his dark humour and clever wit ensuring his stories are always engaging and satisfying reads.

Matt – J.K. Rowling

When it comes to choosing my all-time favourite author, there can only be one winner. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise is arguably the most famous fantasy book series in the world, and that appreciation hasn’t faded over the years.

I remember hesitantly picking up the Philosopher’s Stone for the first time, almost expecting not to enjoy it as much as everyone else. I couldn’t have been more wrong, as I found myself glued from start to finish, totally invested in the characters and their magical adventures.

Laura – Various

Honestly, I have found it so hard to pick one favourite author, there are so many talented writers out there. It pretty much depends on my mood.

If I am looking for some escapism then Roald Dahl is the man for me, or for a thriller then Clare Mackintosh never fails to deliver. Jo Nesbo, Mark Billingham and M J Arlidge tick my Crime boxes and if I am after some romance Jackie Collins is the Lady Boss.

Whichever the author may be you can guarantee I will be spending my Sunday afternoon curled up with a book.