1. Frank Peretti
2. Francine Rivers
I am still in awe of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. I’m not sure if it can be classed as ‘experimental’, but I think for its day it was pretty cutting edge. It’s a rather dark, dystopian view of the world after a political and social collapse, but I love the way she weaves snippets from the past and present and future together. It just builds and builds. The scenes from the past gradually open up the present situation, but nothing is revealed chronologically. Because of that you are constantly having these ‘ah-ha’ moments; these epiphanies that make you want to go back and reread something you’ve read already. It’s a book that keeps you thinking long after you put it down. For me that is the crowning achievement of any work of fiction. I want it to make me think, and although I would never presume to be anywhere near the same caliber in terms of my own writing, it is what I try to do.
Never heard of her? I'm not surprised. Eva Miller (nee: MacDonald) was my grandmother. She was an avid reader, loved good literature, and could quote long passages from various classics. (I still remember her quoting the first portion of Longfellow's Evangeline word for word.) She loved books and encouraged her daughters and subsequently her grandchildren to love books, too. She set up a lending library in her house during the early 1900s when she and my grandfather pioneered in Saskatchewan, since there was no way for people to access books in their remote rural community. She was THEE source for poetry, and students from inside and outside the family would seek her out when they needed a poem for recitation. (I don't think anybody does that any more ...) In any case, I include her as a writer who inspires me because she also loved to write and wrote her own memoirs which our family published after her death. I treasure it beyond words and have been greatly inspired by her words. In many ways I feel as though I am carrying on her legacy. Thanks Grandma.