Literature and Life
Perhaps it was a bit selfish, but during this month I saved Sundays for writing about my favorite authors or authors that I respect. Respect is a really difficult concept to explain since it can encompass so many things. I met today’s author online as she shared thoughts about writing and generously began a Facebook page for those who write.
Debbie Jinks is a writer from the United Kingdom who has been writing for approximately two years. She loves to sing, which she did as a profession for 15 years. Although she still enjoys singing, her real passion in life now is writing. After suffering a head injury, which caused Debbie to lose her sense of smell and taste – a condition known as Anosmia, writing became a way of venting her frustration and anger from this life changing condition. It was a way of escaping from the reality of it too. She started to love writing especially when discovering how much satisfaction she got from it. This led her to realize that she wanted to become a writer, and she has now almost finished writing a short children’s storybook of prose, still at the illustration stage, and also started on her first novel. She has two blogs, one showcasing her short stories, including different non-fiction categories, such as wildlife, music and nature. The other blog tells of her experiences with Anosmia, which she writes primarily to support other people with this little know condition, and to help raise awareness of it. In her spare time Debbie enjoys lyric writing, running and growing chilli peppers, the hotter the better! She also tries to practice mindfulness, when she can put her pen down for long enough!
I asked Debbie to name her favorite book. Her answer was most succinct: “Now that’s a tricky one! There are many books I’ve enjoyed reading over the years. The “Deverry High Fantasy” series of books by Katherine Kerr for example, are wonderfully written, and exciting novels. All set in the fictional world of Deverry, they are very much Celtic influenced. With heroic battles, evil priestesses and mystics that save the day, they are exciting and allow your imagination to run wild. Especially with the addition, further into the series, of dragons, and talking ones at that! Everybody who knows me is aware of how much I love dragons, so these books drew me in even more once these mythical creatures entered the story. But even without the addition of dragons the books would still have been brilliant. Each book has a well woven tale, mystical and mythical it takes you into a fantastic world where baddies are terrible and even goodies have that not quite perfect side to them, which makes it twist and turn nicely. I’ve read them all and have no doubt I’ll be reading them again in the future.”
Katherine Kerr’s depiction of a fantasy world is another author who influenced Debbie as a writer. “I was always a day dreamer as I child and loved fairy tales and talking animals, anything that involved mystery and magic. These are all encompassed in her books. Even though Kerr isn’t a children’s author her writing still allows my imagination to run wild, as it did as a child, and now I weave my own tales.
“I love fantasy books and am primarily a fantasy reader and writer; surprisingly enough one of my favorite books isn’t in fact fantasy however. This is a novel by Emily Barr called ‘The Perfect Lie’. I can’t quite put it under any particular genre actually, because to me it’s a mixture of a few. Suspense, thriller, love story, it’s hard to categorize. Set partly in the UK and partly in Italy, it is about a girl forced to grow up too quickly with disturbing and terrifying consequences. Set in two different times of her life, it constantly flicks from the present day to her horrifying past in each chapter, depicting her experiences as a child and how it shaped her into the type of women she is now. Emily Barr’s wonderful description of Italy and the way she gives you a ‘feel’ of the Country, is very much influenced by the fact that she is also a travel writer, which is evident in this book and others.
The way Emily has written this book made me want to turn the pages constantly and I had to force myself to put it down every night. It’s the kind of book you can read again and get more out of each time. It was a gripping, sad, and at times disturbing read with a twist at the end that I’d never have expected. I have read other books by this author, this in fact being the first one. They are all brilliantly written but ‘The Perfect Lie,’ stands out as my favourite. All of the books, however, have that undertone of not quite fitting into any category, so I think would appeal to many different types of reader, and the fact that they are not genre influenced is what makes them so good. You never know quite what to expect as each book is released.”
One of the reasons I wrote this series is because literature seldom stays in the genre with which it is organized. Organization is important but really good writing exerts an influence that supersedes mere words on the page. Debbie Jinks’ writing and life is a great example of this.