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Guest Blog: Ann Barnes

Q: Who is your greatest literary influence?

Ad per the topic for this year’s Middle Georgia Indie Book festival, I would like to share with you the writers who have influenced my writing career thus far. However, I couldn’t pick just one author or writer in particular, I will give three writers.

The first is Lee Smith, who not only is a talented writer from the South, but she also edited the “New Stories of the South” 2001 edition. Her introduction where she talks about one of her writing students, not having anything to write about, was the fuel that ignited my creative writing fire. Although I dabbled in writing when I was in high school, it was after I read that anthology that I took my writing seriously. Since that time, I’ve made many mistakes, and learned a lot of dos and don’ts as I honed my craft and improved my writing skills.

The second of these authors is Karen Kingsbury. Her Life changing fiction helped me to draw closer to God, and her stories have inspired me. Part of my book entitled A Journey of Faith, A Stepping Stones Mystery was inspired by a scene, where the teenaged drunk driver was imprisoned for hitting a family and killing the little Christian Kids Theater actress. The scene where the protagonist visits the teen in jail
and brings him closer to God, was the pivotal scene that inspired one of my scenes in my full-length novel.

The final author who was an inspiration to me, is Janette Oke. Ms. Oke has written several historical Christian romances that have touched my life, and she has also written several series that I have loved through the years. One series was especially inspirational to me, although I don’t remember the name of it, I do remember the scene that got my creative juices flowing. In this scene, one character is in the hospital, waiting to visit a family member who had been in a terrible accident. She meets one of the doctors, who shows her to a family waiting room, which is much more comfortable than the main waiting room on the first floor. As she waits, she hears an old familiar hymn on the radio. This scene was
the inspiration for a scene I wrote, concerning Jason Miller, one of my characters in the book mentioned above. Although this particular scene wasn’t included in my book, I will include it or one similar to it in a
future story

Although there’s not enough space to thank each writer and author that has supported and encouraged me on an individual basis, please note that your help is greatly appreciated. Blessings to you all, and happy writing.

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