Four Books That Inspired Me to Write

SBT intern Chloe shares the books that most inspire her.

Great Grandmother’s Nightshirt

Retold by Guido Gozzano (Fabbri Publishing)

Fairy tales were – and still are – such a big part of my reading life (my love for this particular one is probably exaggerated by that fact that I can no longer find it anywhere). I have had this dream, ever since I was small, to one day write my own fairy tale with adventure, magical objects and a cheeky hero who outsmarts everyone. Great Grandmother’s Nightshirt has all of these elements, which is probably why this is my favourite fairy tale and why it started my love for fantasy novels.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  

By C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins Publishers)

There’s something magical about this book. Perhaps it’s the tight connection with childhood, or the old-fashioned storytelling tone, or Aslan himself. It’s everything I aspire to write – a fantasy adventure that happens to ordinary people, in a land I made up. Fantasy. I read so much in my childhood, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe being only the tip of the iceberg. And now it’s what I write; what I dream about.

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak (Alfred A. Knopf)

I must have read this book when it first came out in 2006. I was about nine, and this was the first real book I read – by that I mean it was the first serious book. There was no magic or perfect ending. It introduced the idea of tragedy and death to my naïve mind, and I think that it’s because of this book that I now love writing sad stories. Being able to produce such strong feelings in yourself, your characters and your readers is amazing. As a writer, I love sad scenes – but as a reader I hate them.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

By Agatha Christie (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)

Agatha Christie is constantly inspiring me to write. She is a complete genius, a quality reflected in my all-time favourite literary characters – Hercule Poirot. Poirot is always on top of things, a cut above the rest, which I think this book portrays perfectly. I love imitating Poirot’s confidence in my own characters and hope to one day write my own murder mystery, though competing with Agatha Christie will be incredibly difficult.


Chloe has been working with Scottish Book Trust as an intern in November and has shared her love of books, especially those which inspired her to pick up a pen herself.