I’m delighted to welcome fellow Rainstorm Press writer and author of ‘Enticed’, Monique Snyman, on the blog today to share the literary influences that have shaped her career.
My love affair with books started when I was very young, but I’ve never stopped to think about what actually influenced my career until Jane asked me to drop in. Since then I’ve raked my brain for something exciting and profound to share, but what I figured out about my literary influences seems rather mundane in comparison to what other authors might have to say. Nevertheless, we all have our unique beginnings, and no matter how boring it sounds, I’m proud to say that the following is where it all started:
Like many Afrikaans children, my introduction to reading consisted of Saartjie, Haasdas se Nuuskas, Siembamba tales and Liewe Heksie, all being very popular South African children book series’. For the better part of my first decade in this world, my life consisted of Afrikaans books, but that all changed when I discovered the joys of living near a library. From there on my reading list expanded firstly towards R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Fear Street series’, before I moved on to the paranormal non-fiction shelves. Following that, I started to devour religious and mythological texts… I simply couldn’t get enough reading material to satiate my thirst for knowledge.
When I reached high school, we were introduced to a variety of literary texts in both Afrikaans and English, but during that time only a few caught my attention. Lord of the Flies by William Golding showed me how cruel humans could be without society to keep us in line. Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold taught me how insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things. Macbeth by William Shakespeare made me realise how badly I suck in deciphering ye olde English. However, had it not been for Mrs Basson, my English teacher, I would have never had the courage to develop my skills as a writer – and later as an author.
By the time I reached university, I thought I had my life planned out, but as fate would have it my journey and career hadn’t even begun yet. However, during this time I learned a lot about my likes and dislikes when it came to literature. For example, Mark Twain and Charles Dickens didn’t do much for me, but George Bernard Shaw captured my imagination. D.H. Lawrence’s work found its way into my heart, and something quite unexpected wiggled its way into my life as well… Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga changed my life forever. Ultimately, this book showed me that no matter where you come from, you can strive to be better, you can dare to dream, and it was the beginning of my writer’s journey.
Of course, I had numerous other literary influences too. So, after thinking long and hard about my top five literary influences, I rounded them off to being the following:
- Manus – my fiancé – who tirelessly listens to all of my plot ideas, and sometimes even read them when he has a chance. Not to mention, he’s the most supporting person in the whole world, especially when my coffee mug needs a refill.
- Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions.
- Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
- Terry Pratchet’s The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
About the Author:
Monique Snyman lives in Pretoria, South Africa with an adorable chihuahua that keeps her company and a bloodthirsty lawyer who keeps her sane. She is a full-time author, part-time editor and in-between reviewer of all things entertaining. Her short fiction has been published in a number of small press anthologies, and the Charming Incantations series will continue to come out through Rainstorm Press. Find out more about her by visiting www.charmingincantations.com/blog.