Authors that Influence and Inspire Me, Part I: Zane Grey

It had to be Zane Grey first. With his sweeping, pages-long descriptions of landscape, deep, moving soliloquies, and sweet romances, it had to be Zane Grey first.

I am not sure when I first picked up one of his novels. Sometimes I feel my mom’s love for his books passed down in utero and I was born loving him too. Thank you, Mom, for that beautiful gift. I have read fifty-four of his Westerns, and love them all. My goal is to collect each of his novels (preferably in used book stores so I can nab copies that are older than I am) and read and enjoy each one.

Goal number two is to include Zane Greyesque elements in my writing. Call them modern-day Western-in-the-East elements: chivalrous heroes, strong, vivacious heroines, and perilous outdoor adventures. Callum’s Compass, my first completed romantic suspense, has a scene in the third act inspired directly from a Zane Grey novel, and I plan to include at least one scene or notion inspired by him in each of the next two romantic suspense novels. Hopefully, in every book I write.

With more than 100 books printed in his name (though some have had help from his children), 20 or so of which were printed after his death, what better career to aspire to? Though soliloquies and page-long scenic descriptions are not the accepted standard in today’s literature, the influence of his writing upon mine is unavoidable, and something I am thankful for.  I hope that I can honor this man I admire with my writing. I hope that I can touch the tip of the Zane Grey description iceberg and create lasting stories that resonate with reader’s minds for decades to come. I know Zane Grey’s books have done just that for me. #ZaneGrey #Inspired #Influenced

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