Books That Have Influenced Me – Fiction Team’s Alan


Shutterstock / Everett Collection © books that have influenced me

As a member of the Fiction team, reading is a big part of my job. I love to read – both professionally and personally. But what books have influenced me the most? Here are a few of my favourite reads.

“What Colour Is Your Parachute?”, by Richard N. Bolles

Parachute has sold over 10 million copies since it was first published in 1970. It’s a book for job seekers and those who are contemplating a career change.

The advice and encouragement inside the book helps readers focus on their key skills; to find a job that they truly want to do.

That, I know, is not always possible due to an individual’s circumstances. But neither should it stop you from having aspirations in life.

“On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft”, by Stephen King

I first read “On Writing” in early 2000, and I revisited the twentieth anniversary edition of the book when I received it as a Secret Santa gift (thanks Digital Editor Iain).

What I like about King’s book is his straight-forward approach.

He doesn’t sugarcoat advice on the craft, and in particular his own writing journey. And neither should he.

The bestselling author has a unique style of delivery and, whether it’s fact or fiction, he has a way of capturing reader interest.

That simply, is what good writing is all about.

“If You Want To Write”, by Brenda Ueland

I love this book. My 1991 version is subtitled, “Releasing your creative spirit”. I’ve seen other editions with the words, “A book about art, independence and spirit”.

This little book offers guidance on writing. It also encourages writers to tap into their imaginations, finding inspiration and confidence to express themselves.

It’s written by an unassuming creative teacher.

Writing needn’t be complicated. As is suggested in the book, to write, all you need is enthusiasm to explore and create – with your heart as well as your mind.


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Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.