My Top 10

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So I’ve been wanting to do this post for quite some time: a little round-up of some of my favorite “writers,” both past and present, who’ve really had an impact on me throughout the years.

And some of whom I just think are pretty darn cool.

You’ll probably notice a running thread through all these: as I writer I want to suck people in and I love most of these guys because they’ve managed to achieve that in the simplest and clearest of ways: relatability.

Who are your influences? Sound off about them on any of my social media accounts:

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**all images were labeled for re-use on Google**

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KURT SUTTER

I am beyond mortified over the amount of money I dropped on buying seasons of Sons of Anarchy off iTunes before realizing I probably could have watched all of them on Hulu for about 1/5 the final price tag. I’d never been so inclined to binge-watch a TV show before, but I oddly enough got hooked on it during the final seventh season and had to backtrack to find out how this whole story had unfolded.

I’m pretty excited for this guy’s next project, the Bastard Executioner, which from what I hear is Sons of Anarchy just set in 14th century England. I’ll take it.

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BILL MAHER

My husband and I used to “start the clock” every Friday night at 10 with HBO’s Real Time and I loved it. Unfortunately, he eventually decided we were spending way too much money on cable Smilie: :( So I have to get by now on 3-4 minute snippets off Maher’s YouTube channel or hopefully we can go see his stand-up more often. But anyway, I’d love the discussion he facilitated with his guests and it kept me up-to-date on many political issues of the day, something I’m not so good at doing on my own even though I do take more of an interest than most I think. His views are also quite similar to mine and he was always able to articulate them way more clearly than I am ever able to. And his final segment where he’d sound off on whatever topic he’d decided to focus on for the night are sometimes so spot on I’m thoroughly jealous. Bravo sir, bravo.

MARGARET ATWOOD

At 75 years old, this woman achieves a level of cool I can only dream of reaching. Her books were my first introduction to dystopian, post-apocalyptic plots and her poetry is pretty bad-ass too. I’d submitted some to our officiant for use in our wedding ceremony but unfortunately, he axed it.

Can’t win ‘em all.

Oh and I also kind of want her wardrobe.

VINCE MCMAHON

I was a strange little girl. I was UHB-SESSED with the then WWF and all its larger than life characters. Every time one of their pay-per-view specials came around I’d beg my dad to order it and would never believe him when he tried to tell me “This is all fake, you know that right? They’re just acting.” To this day I believe it’s where my love for drama originated. Nobody did it better than this guy, Vince McMahon, who started it all. Ok, maybe he didn’t “start it all” per say but he definitely made it into the business it is today.

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GILLIAN FLYNN

When I read Gone Girl, my life literally stopped for three days. I could not would not put it down until I found out exactly what was going on in this highly original thriller. And the story really embodies the true essence of that word “thriller,” teaching me a lot about what it means to craft one. So I did what I always do when I find a book I love: desperately try to find anything else the author might have written, which is how I stumbled upon Dark Places and Sharp Objects—a story particularly close to my heart because it’s about a young female reporter. I found these two earlier novels of Flynn’s to be far less complex than Gone Girl, but that was an important lesson in itself: that a story doesn’t need to be complicated in order to be interesting or furthermore addicting.

I certainly hope she’s penning something new as we speak. Because Gone Girl the movie sucked.

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ROB ZOMBIE

Let’s be honest: Remakes suck.

Or used to suck. Until Rob Zombie came along. I was so impressed by this guy’s Halloween I and Halloween II that they put him on the map for me.

I also think it’s hysterical how he always has his wife in just about every movie he makes, and most of the time she’s playing a stripper (or at the very least performs a strip-tease of sorts.)

Stephen_King,_Comicon

STEPHEN KING

Ok, so I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of Stephen King. However, the sheer mass of his seven volume Dark Tower series is so impressive that it never fails to give me encouragement and hope whenever I need it.

If he can do that and make it a success, then there should be nothing I shrink away from or can’t do.

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TREY PARKER & MATT STONE

I mean this one’s a no-brainer. From their no-less-than genius parodies on South Park targeting everything from pop culture to political issues, to their Broadway smash The Book of Mormon (which I vow to go see one day if tickets ever fall below $500 a seat), these guys never fail to have me in side-splitting tears of laughter.

If only my writing could be this cutting and sharp.

They nail it on the head, every single time, somehow managing to weed out any crap and jargon that others might get lost in…all via the voices of a bunch of 3rd-graders no less.

But they stole even another little piece of my heart when I saw Matt Stone speaking to Michael Moore in his “Bowling for Columbine” movie, where when asked what he would have done if faced with the two killers, he said he would have listened to them, because it’s something obviously nobody else had done.

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WALLY LAMB

The Gut-Wrencher. If this guy were a super-hero that would be his name. His novels, from She’s Come Undone, to I Know This Much is True, and The Hour I First Believed, all have made me strive to become a better writer in the truest sense—a wordsmith who is able to portray lessons through their stories that once you figure them out, it’s like an epiphany.

They are all beautiful, exquisite, and I could go on and on and on…

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WILLIAM LANDAY

Landay crafted such a mind-blowing ending twist it knocked me on my ass. Defending Jacob was another one of those thrillers that forced me to put my life on hold until I finished, but it’s for that ending that I say “I’m not worthy!! I’m not worthy!!”

The Strangler, his first book, is for sure on my TBR list.

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