Hey lovelies! Hope you’re having a brilliant day. Today Hannah McKinnon is stopping by my blog with a guest post on some of the books that have inspired her writing. It’s the end of a fantastic blog tour and my blog is the last stop, but feel free to visit the other hosts and amazing bloggers for reviews and more quest posts from Hannah. I’ll be reviewing TIME AFTER TIME soon, but let me tell you, it’s definitely a book you should add to your TBR piles (and it’s just 99p for the kindle!). Many thanks to lovely and amazing Helena at AVONUK and Hannah for the chance to be part of this epic blog tour.
Time After Time is a fresh and funny work of women’s commercial fiction, which explores the romantic paths that could have been . . .
For fans of Laura Barnett and Dani Atkins, Hannah McKinnon has written a moving story that will resonate with any woman who has ever wondered, in a moment of frustration, “what if?”.
Hayley Cooper, a powerful but now struggling lawyer, fantasizes about what her life would be like if only if she’d made different choices. It’s understandable; the past two years have been hell. She barely sees her kids, her boss is trying to sabotage her, and her marriage is falling apart.
Burnt out, Hayley goes to sleep wishing for a different life. When she wakes up married to her first boyfriend, one she has not seen in over twenty years, she realizes there might be some truth in the saying “be careful what you wish for”. Over a single weekend, like Ebenezer Scrooge, Hayley gets to see her life on other side of the white picket fence – not just with her first ex, but with each of her past loves. But is the grass always greener, and will she ever want to go home?
DON’T CALL IT A CLASSIC by HANNAH MCKINNON
“What authors and books have inspired you?” That question first filled me with a slight sense of dread. Then it sent me scrambling for Google, on the hunt for clever, ‘writer-worthy’ answers, and a Top-10 List of ‘The Classics’.
To be honest, I haven’t read that many of them. While English is my mother tongue, I attended school in Switzerland, where classes are either in German or French. I didn’t have the mandatory list of English Literature books to plough through. I do remember reading Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe by Gottfried Keller, an acclaimed Swiss author who adapted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to a countryside setting. But did it inspire me to write? Not particularly. At the tender age of thirteen I considered it eye-rollingly boring. Boys were more interesting by far.
Nowadays, and as a writer, I have to admit my lack of knowledge of ‘The Classics’ can make me feel a little vulnerable and downright inadequate at times, particularly when my writing group talks about Proust, Joyce and Tolstoy. I find myself thinking, ‘I really must read that, and that, and that’. After all, part of a novelist’s job is to read different styles, analyse how the crème de la crème go (or went) about their craft, and figure out how their work became one of ‘The Classics’ in the first place.
But until then, here’s my list of more recent books and authors that made me go ‘Wow!’ Ones who inspired me to put fingers to keyboard, and start a writing journey of my own.
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
What can I say? J.K. Rowling’s exponential imagination and expert storytelling inspired millions of people all over the world. One of the smaller details that made me go ‘ooh’ was the moving staircases. At that point I realised J.K. Rowling had literally thought of everything.
- The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
I’ve been a Lisa Jewell fan since her first novel, Ralph’s Party, was published in the late 90s, but in my opinion The House We Grew Up is her most accomplished novel yet. Her portrayal of a character’s mental illness was deftly handled, and without turning the story into a medical textbook.
- The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
Many of Cecelia Ahern’s novels include a touch of magical realism that is as believable as it is entertaining. One of my favourites is The Book of Tomorrow, a fairy tale for adults that made me feel good, and was a story I lost myself in completely.
- Starter for Ten by David Nicholls
David Nicholls is a comic genius and a master of dialogue. The witty banter and hilarious one-liners made me laugh out loud, and I got some very strange looks on the train. David Nicholls creates such rich and entertaining characters, you want to sit down with them for a cup of tea and a chat.
- Come Together by Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees
I bought this book at the airport when my flight was delayed and I needed something to do. For all I cared it could have been cancelled!Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees wrote a number of books as a team, including two sequels to Come Together. I thought it was an innovative, fun approach that highlighted the importance of making each character’s voice clearly distinct from the others.
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Oh, how I loathed Nick at the beginning of the novel and felt sorry for Amy, only to have those feelings reversed by the end. This was clever, clever writing, dark and gritty, with marvellous imagery throughout. The book followed me around for ages and I kept telling everyone, ‘I wish I’d written this!’
So there you have it. Six choices that inspired me to write. There are many, many more, but all of the above have a very proud spot on my bookshelf. And while I doubt my novels will ever make it as one of ‘The Classics’, I hope they’ll feature on many readers’ lists of personal favourites instead.