My Favorite Book: Swan Song

Good writers have to be well-read. I love reading authors with different styles who can help me with my own writing style. So, periodically, I’ll be highlighting a book that has really influenced how I write.

Of course, I have to start out by writing about my favorite book of all time! That prestigious honor goes to Swan Song by Robert McCammon. Lemme tell ya, that man can write! I have read it four times so far, and I think it’s going to be one of those books that I have to read every couple years.

Best. Book. Ever. (Photo courtesy of
Best. Book. Ever. (Photo courtesy of

The summary in a nutshell is this: There’s a nuclear disaster that basically wipes out the entire world. The survivors face the dangers of radiation poisoning, starvation, and dehydration. Oh, and the very incarnation of evil is walking around trying to f— things up! The story focuses on Swan, a little girl with restorative powers, whose mission is to heal the war-ravaged world.

That summary doesn’t do the book justice at all, but I can at least explain why I love it so much. Robert McCammon is the BEST as making you experience what he’s writing. When someone is in pain, you feel that pain. When someone is scared, you feel that fear. When someone is turning into a werewolf (The Wolf’s Hour, another one of his awesome books), you feel every change in that person’s body.

Check out this excerpt from Swan Song:

“This was a dank, sinister chill: the chill of shadows where poison toadstools grown, their ruddy colors beckoning a child to come, come take a taste of candy.”

I don’t know about you, but that gives me chills! Robert McCammon is my inspiration for writing good descriptions. He’s a master at creating moods with details alone, and that’s something that I want people to say about my writing one day.


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