The summer of 2003 marked a turning point in my life. I remember it well. My mother and I went into the ‘Kruidvat’ (Dutch store). Shopping with my mum used to be a nightmare. Because whenever we went shopping together, she would race around the stores like a whirlwind and I just tried to keep up with her, hoping it would all be over soon. But this time the cover of a book caught my attention. A big, white exploding yacht. “The Golden Rendez-Vous” by Alistair MacLean was on it in bright yellow characters.
Because I’m a huge fan of actionpacked novels, my heart started to beat a little faster. Before I even opened the book, I had a feeling this story was going to be fantastic. And I was right. I started reading that day around 10 pm and it took some selfdiscipline to put it down at 2 am. The next morning I immediately resumed reading. To sum it up: it was the best book I’ve ever read, and I’ve always been an avid reader. That is probably the reason why I wanted to become a writer, ever since I was a young girl. I can hardly imagine a better feeling than inspiration. I think many of you know what I’m talking about. It’s that feeling that you can’t wait to start writing a story or article. Going on a hunt for a paper notebook in the middle of the night, to jot down a few keywords after being struck by a few bright ideas. It’s an addictive feeling and after reading The Golden Rendez-Vous it got me even more hooked on reading and writing.
Sarcasm and wit
Now it’s been more than 11 years, I’ve got almost all of Alistair MacLean’s books and I’m still madly in love with his writing style. It’s his quick-witted and borderline sarcasm that struck a cord with me. When you start reading, you don’t want to stop. Since then I have yet to come across an author who can excite me the way he can. For a moment I thought I had found a runner-up, but that enthusiasm quickly plummeted below zero after the first few pages.
The book was ‘Black Rain’ by Graham Brown. On the surface it had everything I could wish for. A cool title, the plot on the back of the novel sounded awesome, CIA-agents, Mayan temples and science team that went missing in the jungle… but after reading the first couple of pages I almost threw the book out of the window in sheer frustration. The writing style lacked passion, I got annoyed with the female lead and the action scenes didn’t live up to my expectations… but that’s probably my own fault, since I compare most of the books with my favourite author. But who knows, maybe I will find my runner-up one day!
Which authors inspire you?