Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Friday Fives – Author Inspirations


1. Ernest Hemingway

Basically his books are like:

Drinking, drinking, sex, drinking, stumbling, sex, drinking, drinking, war, drinking, wandering, repeat

Not to over-simplify Papa, but I LOVE that he gets right to the point.  No flowery prose needed.  I admire authors who are able to use beautiful, flowery language, but I am not one of them.

2. Joan Didion

I read The White Album years ago.  It was rambling at times, quirky, somewhat insane.  But always raw and honest.  I loved it for those reasons.

3. S.E. Hinton

I read all of her books in high school after learning that The Outsiders had been pubbed when she was 18.  It gave me hope.

“Hey, I’m a teen and I write.”

Now it’s more of:

“Hey, I’m an adult and I write for teens.”

4. JK Rowling

The world building, yes.  Making readers love a character.  Most definitely.  But the thing I admire most about Rowling is the SCOPE of the HP series.  All the little details she scattered along the way to lead to big reveals.  Let’s hear it for foreshadowing!

Because I may or may not (I definitely do this) have an issue with cramming SO MUCH info into books since I know my characters’ lives, what they’ll be doing when they’re 80.  Which takes me back to Hemingway and the idea of to-the-point prose.  It’s okay for me to know all this, but my audience doesn’t give a crap about things that’ll happen way after the book is over.

^and right here I prove my point that I ramble.

5. Tennessee Williams

One word: atmosphere

His plays ooze with tension, with anticipation…

All these beautiful, flawed, insane characters trapped in some way.  They’re like train wrecks.  You can’t look away.

Like this scene from the movie adapt of Streetcar (props to the actors, of course):

Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

11 thoughts on “Friday Fives – Author Inspirations

  1. That is the best summary of Papa’s work ever. And I love it. Great list–Tennessee Williams really is a master of atmosphere. Stella!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. How did I forget Hemingway when I was making my list? I just about died when I saw “Midnight in Paris,” because I think it’s so unfair that it wasn’t real and happening to me. Great summary of his work haha. And probably of his life, too.

  3. You’re right about Rowling, the way she drops little details here and there, which at the time might seem irrelevant, but later add up to important plot points. I think that’s one of the ways she kept her readers engaged–hunting for those little clues and writing pages of blog articles and fan fiction based on them!

  4. “Basically his books are like:

    Drinking, drinking, sex, drinking, stumbling, sex, drinking, drinking, war, drinking, wandering, repeat”

    OMG, that had me on the floor.

  5. J. K. Rowling tops my list and you are so right about the foreshadowing–the woman’s a genius! 🙂

  6. Awesome choices! Would you believe I’ve never read The Outsiders? Time to remedy that, I think!

  7. Awesome choices! I LOVE The Outsiders. And now after reading this I feel like I need to read more SE Hinton!

  8. I’ve been meaning to read Didion. Your post is a great reminder. I think I’ll buy The White Album right now.

  9. I love your overview of Hemingway, and you didn’t miss a beat when you added “repeat.” I must confess that, although I started the first HP book, I didn’t finish it, nor did I read the series. (I prefer modern, adult characters.) Still, though, I must say, as I was reading the first 150 pages or so of what would become thousands, the same phrase went through my head: “She just keeps making s#%t up!” As for Williams, I remember reading a phrase in the narrative set-up of one of his plays. He described one of the characters as “an avalanche of female flesh.” He even puts atmosphere into those aspects of his work!

  10. Great list! I love Joan Didion, too.

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