Authors Who Write Like I Do

— or… To Which Other Author Does My Writing Compare?

By Jeff Salter

This week’s topic: If a prospective publisher asked you to compare your work to that of one or two well-known authors, whom would you choose?

Well, this topic threw me… for several reasons.

1. I was pretty sure I’ve previously blogged on this very matter… but a diligent search of the 4F1H archives did not reveal such a post. [So it must have been for some other blog… or for an actual publisher questionnaire.]

2. I truly don’t believe I write much like anyone else. And I don’t mean to imply that my writing is super-unique… just that it seems (to me) different from all the other authors I’ve read during my many decades of recreational reading, my school classes (K-12), my attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree with an English Major… or during my 30-year career in librarianship.

Two Possibilities

I have run across two well-known authors, from whom two particular pieces have reminded me of my VOICE… and both are in the area of autobiographical recollections.

The first is Jean Shepherd, who wrote the story upon which the popular film “A Christmas Story” was based. When I saw that movie and heard Shepherd’s own wry voice in the intermittent narration, I had a true sense of recognition: “That’s what my own memoirs sound like.” Now I know what some of you are thinking: Jeff saw that movie and then wrote his own memoirs using a similar voice. Nope. That film was initially released (in the U.S.) on 11-18-1983, re-released (U.S.) on 11-21-1984… and only later appeared on HBO (or whichever cable network that I saw it on). Whereas I wrote the first volume of my own memoirs off-and-on between the summer of 1981 and the autumn of 1983, long before I’d ever even heard of Ralphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB rifle.

The other author voice that sounds like me – or vice-versa, if you prefer – is Bill Bryson’s. Not so much his travel books or his investigatory treatments of things like houses, language, Shakespeare, etc. — but his own childhood recollections, 2007’s “Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.” In that book, I heard a voice rather similar to my own. Bryson is within a year of my own age, so we each grew up during the 1950s… with several similar experiences.

Summary

With these as the only two examples I can grasp, you can easily understand how difficult it is for me to respond to such a topic as this. Having said that, I wonder if Jean Shepherd or Bill Bryson would read my writing and say, “Hey, he has a voice that sounds like ME!”

Question # 1:

If you’ve read any of my novels or novellas, does my writing remind you of any other author’s?

Question # 2:

If you’re a writer, is there a well-known author who writes similarly to you?

[JLS # 566]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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13 Responses to Authors Who Write Like I Do

  1. piratediva08 says:

    I understand what you say about your writing as not being super-unique but not quite like any other author’s. I feel the same way about my own writing/stories. Your writing does not remind me of another author, so maybe you are unique. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m sure that both Shepherd and Bryson would be pleased to have their writing voices compared to yours. I agree, this was a difficult question, and it threw me the first time I was asked to answer it. I’m pretty sure it was posed to me by a publisher when I prepared to submit some of my work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Yeah, I’m sure I’ve had to answer it… or try to. And it’s likely been on an Author Info Form or something similar.

      Like

  3. While reading some of your stories, another author never came to mind. So I guess you do have a fairly unique voice and style of writing, which I truly enjoy.

    When it comes to my own writing, I’ve had a few readers tell me they were reminded of Jane Austen’s writing, and particularly Pride and Prejudice because of the way the story was unfolding. But, I’d never say that I write like Miss Austen. That would be praise too high for my writing. My readers were probably reminded of Pride and Prejudice because of the “will she/won’t she” scenarios in a couple of my stories. LOL And there may be a light touch of her style in my writing because I’ve read all of her books.

    That said, I think we should all try to find our own niche in writing. I don’t want to be the next Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, Tracie Peterson, Francine Rivers, or any of the other currently popular authors today. I want to be the best author, Sharon K Connell I can be. And I want to please my readers.

    Comparing yourself to other authors can result in a overactive ego or bring depression upon you. We don’t need that. The author’s life is hard enough as it is. Be the best “YOU” you can be. And if your readers love what your write, praise God!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t say that I would compare your work to anyone else’s, except for your truly zany ones which remind me of Garson Kanin,Ben Hecht and other who wrote the old Cary Grant comedies.
    It is really hard to compare oneself to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. claycormany says:

    Jeff, I’ve only read one of your books — Cowboy Out of Time — and I don’t recall thinking you wrote like any other author I’d ever read.

    A while back, there was some website that asked you to submit a sample of your writing and they’d tell you a famous author whose writing resembled yours. I sent in a few paragraphs of Fast-Pitch Love and was informed my writing was similar to J.D. Salinger’s……Yeah, right. I think I received this response because the protagonist of Fast-Pitch Love is a teenage boy who seems wiser and more perceptive than his peers, much the same as Holden Caulfield does.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’m sure both Shepard and Bryson would be happy if their writing resembled yours. I always find you work very appealing.

    Liked by 1 person

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