Okay, so it’s international women’s day. Kinda every day is women’s day on my blog, but I wanted to really quickly do a spread off the top of my head of the woman creators who influenced me the most as a writer/person when I was younger or are influencing me right now.
All of these women are flawed people, and a lot of them have said problematic things, but the fact is they all shaped my life in some way or another and probably have some influence on my writing. I want to thank them for that.
J.K. Rowling is probably the reason I decided to become a writer. Her work helped me through a really difficult time in my life when I was very young and I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say it kept me from hurting myself. Her story wouldn’t let me go and I wanted to create stories that did that for other people. I was also inspired by her real life story- she was the person who showed me that a woman could be a ridiculously successful and influential author. If she could make it, I could.
Tamora Pierce was another author who inspired me when I was young. It was really hard to find high fantasy starring women, but then I found her books. Seeing high fantasy female heroes was really important to me and it showed me I could write about girls being heroes and still do okay for myself.
Naoko Takeuchi was a more recent influence, but her story helped me kinda get over my issues with femininity. When I was younger, I equated being feminine with being weak. Her story was the first one I ever saw that had femininity as a source of power, and that actually caused me to reevaluate a lot about myself. So I’m grateful for that.
Hiromu Arakawa (and like only two pictures of her exist and I couldn’t find a good quality one very quickly, so have her self portrait) wrote a really amazing story with amazing art. People might dismiss it because it’s manga, but I love the combination of story and art and the fact she was able to tell one of the most amazing, well developed stories I’ve read and illustrate it beautifully, tackling a lot of themes that are personally important to me, and still include over-the-top humor and boss fight scenes, is just amazing to me.
Fuyumi Ono wrote what I would call my favorite book series right now, The Twelve Kingdoms. It’s a really engaging fantasy that delves deep into it’s world-building and character development.. It focuses on the complexities of corrupt systems and the emotional development of a young woman, all within a fantastic setting.
Octavia Butler’s workis a really recent discovery for me, but I’ve gotten into her stuff more than any of the other author’s I’ve tried right now. Her work really epitomizes sci-fi that makes a social statement and it really makes me think. I want to also write stories that say something and criticize current power structures.
These are just the women that came to me immediately as authors I enjoy and who have changed my worldview in some small way. There are a lot more wonderful women creators out there who will continue to shape me and inspire me, and I hope to someday become a creator who might influence someone myself.