In junior high school, between the school-mandated chills of Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare, I discovered a library filled with the works of Victoria Holt. The India Fan and The Curse of the Kings brought high Gothic romance and suspense, complete with curses, into my reading repertoire. She chilled and thrilled many hours of my life with her atmospheric writings.
Anne Rice came next. By high school, The Vampire Lestat was the rage among my friends. I fell for the rock star vampire with mixed morals. Rice's voice was persuasive, hypnotic and far too charming. All other first person vampire narrators (and vampire hunter narrators) owe her. I doubt Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake could exist in a world without Lestat.
Then there's the incomparable Stephen King. My favorite of his works is The Dead Zone. Sure Carrie or The Shining are better known. But The Dead Zone marries great story with unforgettable writing. It's creepy while still being believable and morally complex.
In college, I discovered Nora Roberts. Her Donovan Legacy series, tracing three witches who find love when least expected, married my favorite elements of romance with magic. Her descriptions in these short form Silhoutte books show what can be done with specific detail at the right moment. Each book has scenes that remained on my mind long after I finished reading.
I have other favorites. Lafcadio Hearn seems to haunt me. His Japanese ghost stories keep popping up everywhere. Last year, a friend introduced me to The Dresden Files. I became an instant addict. I love Laurell K. Hamilton's early Anita Blake novels and Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan books. I pre-ordered the last Harry Potter book, wended my way through the paths of Narnia and even read all of the Tolkien Ring series. Just yesterday, I finished Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. A good read.
Which reminds me, I should stop at the library and get my new card....
In ghostly spirits,
Photo courtesy of Your Guide.