When asked about inspiration, historical novelist and Sarasota resident Jeffrey Shaara does not hesitate. "My father not only inspired me, but he opened the door for my work.'' Shaara's best-known book, Gods and Generals, was a prequel to Killer Angels, written by his father, Michael Shaara. The younger Shaara's latest novel is The Steel Wave. What is on your nightstand?
Memoirs of the Second World War by Winston S. Churchill; Crusade in Europe by Dwight David Eisenhower; On to Berlin by James Gavin; The Patton Papers by George Patton. I stay away from reading novels because I don't want someone else's dialogue to sneak into my writing.
But if you could read one, what would you read?
The March by E.L. Doctorow. I presented him an award, in my father's name (Michael Shaara Literary Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction). He's a fantastic guy to have a conversation with, but I dare not touch that book.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer