She works in a South-East London secondary school and spends her school holidays writing, reading, playing flag-American football and wasting time marketing on Pinterest.
My top eight favourite writers
Cassandra Clare: Clare is a more recent discovery, but I love both The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. Some of the things I enjoy best about them are the humour in the dialogue and the pop-culture references. I also like the way Clare blends the real world and her fantasy creations. Plus, she writes romance superbly, which is something I really envy.
Meg Cabot: I love Cabot’s use of the first person. I think that, in terms of style, she has had the biggest influence on me as a writer – she sets a really high bench mark to try and reach and also shows how each speaker should be distinctive and individual. All of her characters are witty and clever and I even enjoyed her children’s series, Ally Finkle, which I used to read to my younger sister.
Chuck Palahniuk: Palahniuk is a very different kind of writer: his books are dark, satirical and unlike anything else I’ve ever read. I started with Invisible Monsters as a teenager, mostly because of the Panic! At The Disco song based on it, and it opened me up to a different kind of writing and a more twisted sort of book.
Scott Westerfeld: Uglies is one of my favourite series: it’s a really unique concept and has a lot of ideas that I really wish I had come up with. I love novels that make me question society and Uglies definitely does that, with its exploration of beauty and free will. All of Westerfeld’s characters are strong too; there are no half-developed side-kicks.
Jane Austen: Darcy’s first proposal is my favourite moment in a book, ever. It’s just so spectacularly awful that it’s brilliant. I love the irony and satire in Austen’s writing and the way that every sentence is perfectly, precisely formed; there’s not a word out of place. I sometimes think that I miss the point of Austen’s novels though, as I often prefer the cad to the hero (It constantly frustrates me that Marianne doesn’t end up with Willoughby – although that might have something to do with Dominic Cooper playing him in the TV adaptation I watched…)
Ernest Hemmingway: I can’t really put into words what it is that I like about Hemingway’s novels – I think it’s the overall tone and feel to his work, rather than what happens in them, which captivates me. His style is also very distinctive with lots of short sentences and chapters.
Shakespeare: I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. It doesn’t matter how many centuries have passed, Shakespeare’s plots do not date. They are as relevant today as they were to their original audience, which is amazing. It’s also incredible just how many words and phrases we owe to Shakespeare; he has had a monumental (one of his) impact on the English language.
Heather James is the author of Fire. Fire was released on January 4, 2013.
Is control over the elements a gift, or a curse?
Roxy thinks that she is in control of everything: with flames flaring at her fingertips and an equally fiery attitude, what more could she need? But then she meets Brae, a prince from a rival Realm, who turns her assumptions of superiority upside down.
Jasmine has none of Roxy’s confidence or intensity. But she does have a secret - and Brae - and she’s not going to give either up willingly.
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