'I'm always looking for engaging novels with well-developed characters'
Courtney Brand, UAE-based blogger & author of The Line series, lists her favourite books
What book(s) are you reading?
As an author, honestly, my reading is centered around research for the book or series I'm currently writing or planning to write. Thus, the past two years have been spent reading various works about Queen Victoria as part of research for my steampunk trilogy. I'm also currently collecting heist novels. To get me in the spirit, I recently reread the fantastic Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo and am considering getting my copy of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt out again.
What are the books that changed your life and shaped your outlook?
Tamora Pierce was one of the most substantial influences on me growing up. She wrote (and continues to write) about empowered young women. In Ms. Pierce's work, just because you were a girl didn't mean you couldn't be powerful or talented - but you had to work hard to achieve your goals.
Most memorable literary character?
Over the years, I've loved so many characters, and hold a special place in my heart for the protagonists I've created. Although not perfect in any sense, I think the gunslinger, Roland Deschain from The Dark Tower series by Stephen King is someone who is difficult to forget. His struggles are universal, and over the course of the seven books, there is a lot of time for the reader to reflect and ask, 'What would I do in his place?'
Books that you never tire of re-reading?
In addition to the authors mentioned, I love Sarah Maas' work. I'm always looking for engaging novels with well-developed characters. I also love books by Gail Carriger, Renee Ahdieh, Chris Cleave, David Nicholls, Justin Cronin, and Sarah MacLean. Each of these authors has provided me with excellent stories I'm happy to revisit.
Your favourite book quote.
"The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me." Although this isn't a direct quote from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, it's close to the movie dialogue and I've found it inspiring.