I don’t have a good memory for names, even book authors, which is a terrible trait for a writer who hoped to get into the industry.
It was only a few years ago that I realized that the Father Brown mystery books (admittedly, I had only read one at that point) were written by the famous writer G. K. Chesterton. I only found this out after buying a Kindle edition of Chesterton’s complete works, and finally read the rest of the Father Brown stories and much more besides.
I was a lot older than I should have been when I discovered that Ray Bradbury (an author whose name is very familiar to me) wrote noir detective stories.
Today, I was looking at a post on Facebook from my writers’ group about a rabbit named Edward Tulane. I had never heard of this book before, which gives you some idea of my scholarship in this field. So I looked up the book, and then immediately looked up Kate DiCamillo. I found out that she had written Because of Winn Dixie, Flora and Ulysses, and The Tale of Despereaux, all of which I had heard of, along with The Magician’s Elephant, which I actually have tagged on Netflix to watch soon.
I imagine more professional writers know all this stuff, and have read almost every book in their field. I’ll never be that thorough–writing is my second job and probably always will be. But at least I can have the fun of discovering things even if I’m far from the first. I remember introducing someone to Terry Pratchett who had never read him before. I almost envied him the joy of treading that ground for the first time. And that was fun, too.