Lauren Bell author of ‘In a Land of Canaries’ published in Breve New Stories Issue Zero, talks about the authors that inspire her.
1) Neil Gaiman – a man who can write well about practically anything and everything, and who creates such a fantastical array of memorable characters and alternative worlds in every work. Gaiman’s fantasy/mythical vision grounds itself in good old-fashioned storytelling; whether it be an adult-type fairy tale, a fable or a myth or something entirely else. His prose is lucid yet effervescent and really paints his vision of the world in the reader’s mind. I would definitely recommend American Gods, Neverwhere and Stardust – three amazing reads by a truly fabulous writer.
2) Stephen King/Joe Hill – Now I know I’m cheating here but honestly King and Hill are quite possibly the most illustrious writers in their field. Their creativity, flair for authentic dialogue and psychotic characters has furnished classic horror and thriller reads with a literary panache most authors writing in this genre struggle with. They write with a fierce intelligence and a real zest for stories and storytelling, creating a plethora of twists and turns along the way; and gore aside, the psychological impact after reading their work is nothing short of indelible. I would definitely recommend Doctor Sleep and IT by King, and NOS4R2 by Hill.
3) Tania Hershman – a writer whose flash fiction collections literally showed me what a story could be. I first heard her work broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Upon hearing them, I was amazed at how succinct and poetic her work was. I knew she had a unique way with language; the ability to move a reader with such insight and using so few words is an achievement she manages to realise again and again and again. The White Road and Other Stories, and My Mother Was an Upright Piano are must reads for anyone who appreciates the finest storytelling.