Currently, Sue Miller is my "voice" of choice. I like her characters, her tone, her situations. I’d like very much to write something like hers. Particularly, like While You Were Gone.
I have wanted to write with the keen sense of voice like Alice Walker. And with the mastery of setting and characterization like Steinbeck (I just KNEW I could write a southern—Georgia—version of East of Eden.) I wanted to write of the personal entrapment portrayed in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? EVERY book I read produces in me a longing to produce something similar. Lately, the Southern Memoir genre has produced some AMAZING voices—all of which I have found fascinating: Janise Ray’s Ecology of a Cracker Childhood....another entitled Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter by Barbara Moss. These are voices I can never forget. Voices I’d love to reproduce on paper through the filter of my own experience.
Something that, interestingly, has become VERY inspirational for me is to LISTEN to books on tape. I find that some writers’ writing is better SPOKEN than read from the printed page. Sue Miller is delicious to listen to. (Sorry to admit it, but Waller’s stuff too--Bridges of Madison County. His stuff is plain goofy on paper. But to listen to him, it’s music.). I am often inspired to write by LISTENING to works. Their Eyes Were Watching God was simply wonderful in spoken word.
Sometimes I think that "writing out loud," telling the story, literally, out loud then transcribing (or using voice recognition software) would be a useful way to write a story.