March is Women's History month, which makes it a good time to reflect on your favorite female writers. Today, novelist Cynthia Eden, whose Deadly series is published by Grand Central (we loved the latest installment, Deadly Lies) shares a few of her thoughts on the subject with us.
Historical women writers who inspired me
guest post by Cynthia Eden
For centuries, women writers have been penning tales that have inspired and captured the imaginations of their readers.
When I was a teenager, the great Mary Shelley introduced me to monsters. Her monsters didn’t scare me. They showed me that there were no limits to the imagination. She taught me that even during the 1800s, women weren’t afraid to face their darkest nightmares…and to put those nightmares down on paper. Frankenstein boldly showed the wicked intent that can lurk in the human heart.
Virginia Woolf revealed the need for A Room of One’s Own. With her help, I realized the importance of feminine thought and development in literature. Literature isn’t just a man’s domain; instead, women have been penning tales and creating stories for centuries. Our ideas can shake the world. They can give hope, or, in Shelly’s case, even give rise to a few nightmares in readers.
Emily Dickinson taught me to appreciate the beautiful simplicity that can be found in poetry even as her words settled in my heart and I realized the importance of living life to its absolute fullest. Dickinson wrote, “I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me.” Death will have to stop for me one day, because I will be far too busy to wait on him. Life should be experienced to the fullest, every moment savored.
And it was Charlotte Bronte who showed me the power of love. Obstacles cannot matter, and fate—it can be changed. Beautiful words can impact the human spirit. Readers can come to see characters as real beings. Readers will care for them, they will cheer for them, and, yes, they will cry for them. Literature impacts the emotions. It makes you feel.
These important female writers in history all made me feel. Their words have stayed with me over the years, and, when I am in need of comfort, I turn back to their books even today. These women may have slipped away as the years passed and as Dickinson’s Death stopped for them, but their words will live on forever—and I am very grateful to them for teaching me about the power of dreams.
[Thanks Cynthia! To find out more about the Deadly series, visit her website—or read our review of Deadly Lies. Interested in more writing about women's history? Check out our March feature on "Strong women who paved the way."]