3 Authors Who Have Inspired Me to Write Friendly Characters

In honor of National Author’s Day, I thought I would let you know about three authors who have inspired me.

1. Jan Karon

Jan Karon is my all-time favorite author. She has an incredible talent for portraying her characters in such a way that they come alive on the pages of her books. They make me feel like I am right there in the midst of them, laughing at a joke or crazy antic, or wiping away a tear as I share their sorrow.

Jan seamlessly incorporates humor in her stories, even when she addresses hard life-issues. What a gift. And throughout every Jan Karon book rings the hope of God’s love and restoration.

She is an inspiration to me to try to do the same — from relatable characters, to laughter and a few tears, to giving hope to my readers.

2. Angela Hunt

Angela Hunt is another favorite author, particularly her three-book Fairlawn series. These books are also full of relatable characters, humor and honest emotion.

This is a challenge I aspire to in my own writing: follow a character and her family through a series of books, each with its own separate theme, yet having an arching central theme drawing them all together.

3. Laura Ingalls Wilder

My third favorite author is Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ve enjoyed her books since I was young. The glimpses of life in the 1880s fascinated me and I loved reading about the family dynamics of the Ingalls’ family. Maybe that’s why I try to give glimpses into what life was like in the 1870s—as in The Christmas Cactus — or life in the 1920s — as in Halstad House and Love, Mary Elisabeth — and how my characters met the challenges.

All three of these authors inspire me to write in such a way that my readers can step into the stories, laugh and cry with the characters, and come away feeling like they have made new friends.

My latest historical fiction novel, The Christmas Cactus, is now available. I would love for you to grab a cup of tea or coffee, relax in your favorite chair, and get to know Katie Jo O’Reilly and the rest of the crew as they meet life’s challenges in 1873.

The Christmas Cactus by Christy Martenson

Photography by Anja Johnson

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