For the women who need us most

For the women who need us most

I’m Werking On My…

I’m Werking On My…

The inspiration and influence of female authors
By Trudie Whitham
Image: Book titled 'inspiration and influence: female authors'

Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, The Colour Purple – some of the most important, successful and iconic pieces of fiction and they come from the minds of female authors.

In 2020, Quartz found that for the first time in history, women were publishing more books than men – increasing the revenue for the industry. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, the power of words can translate into anything an author desires – thrillers, romances, biographies, self-help, career guides, the list goes on and on.

No matter the genre, every story a woman chooses to tell comes from somewhere personal to them – whether that be through their career, childhood, or life experiences.

Rebecca Benison, 34, is a New York-based writer and professional storyteller. Her debut thriller, Harvest Cruise, was published by Chicken House Press in January 2024.

“Back in elementary school, I remember being given a lot of different writing assignments. I hated essays, but I loved the creative writing assignments, like poetry and short stories. 

“At the end of the year in sixth grade, I remember they were compiling a book of student work and my teacher selected a poem I’d written about spring. I liked the poem, but I liked a scary story that I’d written earlier in the year more. I asked to have that story included instead, and they ended up including both, I was very proud of that.

“I think that most writers are a conglomeration of every other author they’ve read before, in some way. I take my writing style inspiration from Mary Higgins Clark, Lee Child, James Patterson, and others within the mystery and thriller genres. They’ve written books that I enjoy reading, so I think about what it is specifically that I like about their styles and apply that to my own writing.

“I’ve always enjoyed creative writing, and am so lucky to have had encouragement and opportunities to develop that passion throughout my life, starting in my early school years.

“I love getting lost in a story. Just like reading takes you to new places, writing allows you to do that, too. Even though it’s coming from your own mind, there’s still this sense of discovery as you figure out where things are headed next. I never know how things will end until I get there – it’s an exciting process.

“I want to write things that people want to keep reading, starting a new chapter even though they know they need to go to bed. I love that feeling as a reader, and I want my own readers to feel that, too.”

Despite the popularity surrounding fiction books, there is also the nonfiction side to the world of literature. Nonfiction has many benefits, such as helping us develop our analytical skills, teaching life lessons, and improving general knowledge.

Monica Or, 52, is an award winning hospitality consultant and best selling author of Star Quality Hospitality, Star Quality Experience, and Star Quality Talent which helps hotel owners, give insider tips, and promotes the hospitality industry.

“I have worked in the hospitality industry all my life and it is an industry that is often overlooked. I wanted to write books on the industry which would show the opportunities available and to share my knowledge and expertise in relation to working in hotels and setting up a business. 

“I wanted to write in a way that is accessible to anyone – a student studying hospitality, an experienced hotelier or someone new to the industry looking to set up their own hotel or guesthouse. So my books are not academic, they are easy to read with practical actions that can be implemented.

“With the writing process I love the creation of models, organisation of the chapters and the research to show evidence of findings. All of my books start with the basis of my own knowledge and expertise and then this is backed up with statistics, research and interviews.

“I like to share resources and tools with my readers so they are gaining something from my books and can use them to improve themselves or their business.

“The hospitality industry is far reaching and working or running a hotel is just one small niche that opens doors to many more opportunities internationally – hopefully my books will do the same.”

Even though Rebecca and Monica write for two completely different genres, their aim is the same – to write books that will inspire and hook their audiences. Female authors have their work, experiences, dreams, creativity, emotions, and ultimately the power to reflect that in the books that they write.

When it comes to writing, there’s never a singular box or genre that you have to fit into. Writing could simply be a hobby, but as long as you have passion for what you write and find joy in what you’re doing then that’s all you need.