Saturday, December 04, 2010


A few days ago, I received a surprise tag from an old friend on facebook - surprise because I thought tagging on Notes ended when 2009 drew it's last curtain. However, I decided to take on the task of doing the tag, but with a little bit of Secret Agent Woman twist... modified rules!

The original Rules are as follows:
The Rules - Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors, poets included, who've influenced you and will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag a few friends, including me, because I am interested in seeing what authors you choose. To do so, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note.

I ended up taking a little more than 15 minutes to come up with the list, because I thought I'd explain how each author played a role in my life and how they influenced me and such.

1. Enid Blyton
2. Carolyn Keene 
3. Franklin W Dixon

Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven series, Carolyn Keene and Franklin W Dixon's Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series were my main reading materials when I was aged between nine to twelve. I envied the kids in Blyton's books because they were able to go out, have secret societies and awesome hideouts to boot and solved crimes while I was stuck at home, living their adventures behind thick glasses! I also loved how Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys solved crimes in their local areas. I might have also had a crush on the younger Hardy boy! The best thing is, reading these books were the inspiration behind an adventure story I wrote at the age of 11 for the Commonwealth Essay competition. Memories...

4. LM Montgomery
5. Alfred Hitchcock
6. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Christopher Pike

Aged 13: LM Montgomery wrote one of the best series of books a girl could ever read. I laughed and cried with Anne, the principal character of the book, and for some strange reason wanted to be her. Anne did a fair bit of writing in the books, and I was inspired by her - I crowded my essays with big words because she did so too.  Having finished the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, I graduated to the Three Investigators written by Alfred Hitchcock. Crimes rock. I suppose the single biggest influence in my interest in crime solving was contributed by Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I quit reading fiction at the age of 15 right up till 17, but I occasionally secretly read books borrowed from friends - at that time they were all reading Christopher Pike and RL Stine... so that was what I read.

Age: 18 till now
8. Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird was the single most favourite book of mine, which I read without fail at least once a year. (Haven't done my 2010 round yet, though) It's my wish to write something like that.

9. JK Rowling  - I had the first three Harry Potter books thrown on my lap. "You must read this", said the sister. I refused at first because every newspaper, every young person out there were talking about Harry potter. I refused to be sucked into the madness. I relented, though and never looked back. Although I'm a bit disillusioned by the way HP is used to make money - games, movies, and promotions when the books were released, I'm inspired by JK Rowling's rise to success, from a 'struggling to make ends meet' kind of person, to someone who almost single handedly made young people read again!

10. JD Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye. Enough said. I loved Holden Caulfield so much that I wanted to meet the grown up version of him!

11. Michael Crichton - I've enjoyed almost every book of his, turning pages feverishly and skipping sleep as I had to know what was going on and how things will end. What I enjoy most about Crichton is the fact that his books are so believable. 
12. Sue Townsend - One of the funniest writers ever. I first met Adrian Mole while huddled at a desk in school with an old friend as we giggled like how twelve year old girls would at Adrian's tragic life. It was only a few pages, but I hunted Adrian down and read the whole series long after the giggling stopped. Adrian's diary entries inspired me to start blogging.

13. Bill Bryson - I started off with A Short History of Nearly Everything and enjoyed it so much. He writes in such a way that I think he could even make paint drying sound interesting. He's also travelled a lot and his journeys are documented in a few other books, which while highly entertaining, has made me doubt my own capabilities of jotting down my travels! 

14. Neil Gaiman
15. Terry Pratchett
I discovered both Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett after a brief conversation with a friend who recommended that I read Good Omens. Till today, Good Omens is one of my favorite books. From there, I branched out to Neil Gaiman first (his books were more easily obtainable) and loved his dark and mysterious brand of horror. I wish I had his genius in cooking up such wonderful plots. As for Terry Pratchett, which I found a little later, his writing style sure beats everything else. He's funny (and it's very natural) and I absolutely love how he uses asterisks to describe stuff. In fact, I have adopted the asterisk to explain stuff on the blog at times.


  1. I LOVE Catcher in the Rye

  2. Mentioning Enid Blyton, conjures up great childhood memories of mine. In fact, my affection for Enid Blyton and her books led me in writing and publishing a book on her, titled, The Famous Five: A Perwsonal Anecdotage (
    Stephen Isabirye

  3. Don't know if I can do 15 in a short period of time. Here they are in the order they popped into my head.

    1. Katherine Kurtz
    2. David Eddings
    3. Jim Butcher
    4. JRR Tolkien
    5. Piers Anthony
    6. WEB Griffin
    7. JK Rowling
    8. Guy Gavriel Kay
    9. Ann Rice
    10.John Feinstein
    11.Roger Zelazny
    12.Richard Adams
    13.CS Harris
    14.Lillian Jackson Braun
    15.Charlaine Harris

    I guess I could do it. By reading these authors, I was able to combine the pure reading enjoyment with some lessons that infuse my own writing style.

  4. nurse: Oh yeah... absolutely!

    Eni: Oh wow... I'll sure check that out. And thanks for dropping by

    Travis: You did... I got my list soon enough, but the whole arranging of sequence and stories took awhile (about an hour, at least!)

  5. I couldn't possibly whittle it down to 15, so many books have influenced me one way or another, especially over my lengthy 63 years. Im just glad there are so many engaging and thought-provoking books out there to keep me happy.

  6. Oh wow... I found it a bit hard to find the 15 that I listed... I had to think about it for quite a bit!

  7. Influential writer at different phase of my life

    At Primary School - Enid Blyton,Alfred Hitchcock, Nancy Drew
    At Secondary School & University- Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Judith Mc Naught, M. Scott Peck , Emily Bronte,Prabhupad
    Now - Bill Bryson, Richard Dawkins, Anthony Robbins, Christopher Hitchens, George Orwell, Naom Chomsky

  8. I am singularly bad at developing lists from memory like that. Although when I read it, I did think there were many on your list I also like.

    And how cool to be famous for being oppositional. :-)

  9. In addition to J.K.Rowling, you can add children's writer, Enid Blyton, who is believed to have published almost 800 children's novels and plays. I have written and published a book on her, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage ( More information on and about Enid Blyton can be obtained at:
    Stephen Isabirye

  10. Jai: Looks like we liked similar authors in our younger years... I think I just stopped growing after that! Hehehe...

    SAW: I agree... making the list wasn't that easy... I admire anyone who took only 15 minutes. LOL... being oppositional is cool, especially when it comes to memes and tags. So many things to add!

    Eni: I did read Ms Blyton quite a bit when I was younger...


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