C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce. It’s hard to describe how much this book influenced me. When Streiker’s Morning Sun was first published, the editor told me that it reminded some of the staff so strongly of TGD that they were scouring my manuscript for plagiarism (which wasn’t there). And that influence remains so strong that Grace Fox picked up on it in her review of my newest book.
Raymond Arroyo, Mother Angelica. I read this biography at a time when I was firmly guided by Southern Baptist proscriptions on what God is and is not permitted to do. Yes, it blew those wide open.
Henry Van Dyke, The Story of the Other Wise Man. I read this small, sweet tale when I was first beginning to write. It provided what I felt could only be supernatural guidance in how I was to write. I have attempted to follow that guidance ever since.
Agatha Christie, Endless Night. In my opinion, this is her finest work. Also, one of the darkest. Also, I believe highly autobiographical. This book taught me that whatever smokescreens an author may throw up, the best work must be self-revealing.
E.F. Benson, Queen Lucia and subsequent Lucia/Mapp books. How does an author portray characters with such amazing clarity? Somehow, I’m convinced that he’s drawing from real life. And here I admit that Renée in the Latter Annals of Lystra owes something to Lucia.