If a prospective publisher asked you to compare your work to that of one or two well-known authors, whom would you choose? Why?
There are probably a great many authors I’ve admired over years. It’s really hard to pick just one or two but I think my first choice would be Elizabeth Peters who also wrote as Barbara Michaels. As Barbara Michals she wrote gothic and supernatural thrillers. The first one I read was a truly chilling novel titled Aimee, Come Home. I immediately made her one of my favorite authors. I was young when I read the book so it didn’t bother me the way it would now. I don’t do scary now. She had a knack for making you believe in things that you really didn’t believe in. A suspense of disbelief, I guess I’d say.
But I liked her best when she wrote as Elizabeth Peters, and the books I enjoyed most under the Peters name were the Amelia Peabody series, which was a series of historical mysteries set mostly in Egypt during the first part of the twentieth century. Amelia wanted to be an archaeologist, never mind that ladies of the time and place were supposed to stay home and tend the children and do tea parties. She was absolutely a force of nature. She married and had a husband who treated her as an equal, and a son who was terribly precocious. In the same book Peters made you laugh, enjoy the romance between Amelia and her husband, and hunt for the Master Criminal whose identity was finally revealed. (He had a thing for Amelia too.) Peters made you love her characters and get deeply immersed in Amelia’s world. No wonder so many people loved her books.
If I had to choose another author I might pick James Heriott author of the All Creatures Great and Small series. I’ve read all of them and seen the 1970s video series. I don’t like the new series on our local PBS station. It doesn’t follow the books closely enough for me. I’d describe Heriott as heartwarming and funny.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote children’s books, but I’ve read her Little House series many times. Her family was a part of the westward expansion during the 1800s. As a history lover I can relate to that, and I can also relate to the family values instilled by Ma and Pa Ingalls.
I’ve attempted to incorporate some of these wonderful elements in my own work, and I hope in some cases I’ve succeeded, these authors are hard to live up to.