Culture Street

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the furthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Her latest book, One Tiny Lie, has just been released.

It is difficult to pinpoint five books that have influenced my writing, but I would choose these five books (or series):

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Series) by George R.R. Martin

An epic fantasy about a family who is thrown into the centre of a kingdom’s political battles. Full of adventure, mystery, magic, romance, and emotion, Martin creates a complex world of characters that you love to hate, hate to love, and just plain love, as becomes evident with each unexpected death.  These characters are full of flaws and strengths, and they evolve as you flip the pages, taking an already enthralling twist of plotlines to a whole new level. Martin proves how invaluable solid characters are to a story.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A story about a socially awkward red-haired orphan who mistakenly ends up living with an elderly brother and sister on a farm in Prince Edward Island.  Readers follow Anne as she develops friendships, crushes, and finds what she has always wished for: the love of a family.  The setting—a peaceful, slow-paced Canadian province—plays a significant factor in my adoration for the story, and I only realised that after I began questioning what the story would be like had it been set somewhere else in the world.

Easy by Tammara Webber

This book takes the very serious topic of rape and parlays it into a story about survival and love in a college setting. Easy is the first “New Adult” book that I read. Before this, I had been on a long fantasy/dystopian/paranormal kick, preferring the thrill of the love stories and adventurous tales to everyday life.  But Webber pulled me into her “real world” story, reminding me that I could spin an epic story that people would want to read, dealing with the kinds of topics we all face in our own worlds.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

In this dystopian book (a trilogy), love has been deemed a disease and people are “cured” of it at the age of eighteen. Lena is all set to go for her treatment, not wanting to suffer from the horrific pain of love, only before it happens…she falls in love. Aside from falling in love with the gorgeous writing style, this book helped me see how you can truly push boundaries with your plot without the presence of magic and fantastical creatures. The very concept is simple and yet outrageous.

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy) by Karina Halle

Ellie Watt is a con artist, running from her violent ex-boyfriend and trying to change her ways. Unfortunately, she isn’t very successful on either front. What I found most gripping about this series is that Ellie is a true anti-heroine. I had a hard time identifying her redeeming qualities and yet I still found myself rooting for her, waiting for her to make a good decision while she consistently makes bad ones. The main character truly tests the reader’s patience and yet it works.


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