I Love All of These

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.

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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6 Responses to I Love All of These

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m not familiar with Elizabeth Peters, but her mystery series sounds fascinating. The hound mentioned James Herriot a few weeks ago, and I still need to allot time to read his books. I’d forgotten about the Little House series! I read the Wilder books when I was in grade school and enjoyed the TV series later on. I can recognize some of those elements in your books. Nice post!


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    You’ve made me want to check out “Aimee, Come Home.” — but I won’t read it if it looks too skeery.
    Definitely agree with you on James Herriot’s stories.


    • Elaine Cantrell says:

      I’m going to have another look at Aimee Come Home myself to see if it’s as scary as I remember or if my perspective is off due to the time in my life when I read it.


  3. I don’t know Peters’ works either, but I am more than familiar with Wilder’s and Herriot’s. Looking to incorporate their styles into yours is a great idea. I am surprised that you were never asked to compare your works before.


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