Whose Fault Are You?
Whose fault are you?
Tiffany Trent talked about this the other day on her blog in response to an open letter by Neil Gaiman to Michael Moorcock about author influences.
I am primarily the fault of Tamora Pierce, specifically her Alanna quartet. I discovered those books right around the time that I decided I wanted to become a writer. Not sure which came first, making that decision or reading those books, but I do remember thinking: if Alanna can become a knight, then I can become a writer. Both were impossible dreams, and mine involved a whole lot fewer sit-ups.
Always a fan of fewer sit-ups.
I'm also the fault of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword. Read that book so many times that I think I could close my eyes and visualize it scene by scene. And I think Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane is imprinted on my soul. (Oh, Ed! You are the most awesomest shark ever!)
Anyway, these books (and others like them) illustrate the primary reason why I think fantasy is important: it's a literature of empowerment.
The other weekend at Boskone, I was on a panel about "Why Adults Love YA," and this was one of the things that we all agreed on: YA fantasy/SF tends to embrace idealism and optimism. It's okay to feel joy. It's okay to hope. Love will conquer all. The little guy can conquer the massive evil. Etc.
Growing up, I whole-heartedly embraced this message, and I think it shows both in the stories I love to read and the ones I choose to tell. I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl, optimistic to the point of idiocy. If I were a gazelle loose in the wild, I'd totally be the one saying, "Oh, look at that cute little lion! Such a fluffy mane! Bet he needs a snuggle! Here, kitty, kitty... AHHHHH!!!" *chomp*
How about you? Which books and authors are to blame for you?