Here we are, back again for the first of four T5T posts in March! As always, these are hosted byShanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and as I’ve previously stated, March is the month I’m planning on lassoing my blog and dragging it into submission, to make sure that I get back on my blogging track and I don’t wear my life out by only staring at my thesis (although I know there are several who say that’s ALL I should be doing at this moment, but I digress).
This week’s post is about the top 5 authors I’d want to meet. Since Shanah didn’t specify whether these authors were supposed to be living or dead, I decided I’d go ahead and split this into a Top TEN post, where I list five authors who are still living and five authors who have already passed on.
Ready? Here we go. These are listed in ascending order, so the first one on the list is #5, and the top one is the #1 person I’d like to meet.
Living: Libba Bray
While I may not be as gaga over her as I used to be when I was in high school, I still highly respect her as an author. She was one of the original writers of the Victorian Boarding School Magic YA genre, which so many people have copied since. She’s the author of the Diviners series, which I am so angry about them changing the cover style on.
When I was still super active on Twitter, I followed her and found that she was super personable.
Dead: Laura Ingalls Wilder
She was my childhood her. I picked up Little House on the Prairie at Wal-Mart on a trip one day, and I loved it so much, my mother bought me the entire box set for Christmas. I’ve only read it through all the way once, which means it’s probably time for me to sit down and attempt to reread it and see if I’m still as in love with it now as I was then.
I remember I had a book called Pioneer Girl (not her autobiography, mind you, but a different one) that my parents hated seeing at bedtime because it was so long and I wanted the whole thing read to me before I would sleep. I also liked looking at the pictures.
She may have romanticized her life (poor Jack the Bulldog, for example, never left Kansas, having been traded for horses or something!), but she still was one of the first Pioneers moving west, and that was a time I was obsessed with for a little while.
Living: Angie Sage
I’m sure many people are going to put JK Rowling on this list. And I will admit, I was tempted. And then I remembered that I actually like Sage’s Magyk series better than Harry Potter (FIGHT ME!) and went about my life.
I loved how she integrated some modern-ish technology (I can’t think of examples right now, but you’ll see them when you read them) while setting her story entirely in a medieval/renaissance period. The hierarchy is clear, her characters are extremely memorable, and it’s just a great trip all around.
I especially love all of the bonus/extra material she puts in the back of her books, because it just extends the magic that much more.
Dead: CS Lewis
I debated long and hard about who I wanted to put on this list, and I realized I couldn’t leave out CS Lewis. I may have hopped aboard the Narnia train a bit late, but I still really, really like the stories and wish there was more to them.
I haven’t gotten around to reading any of his adult fiction yet, nor his science fiction, or even any of his non-fiction, though trust me when I say that I very much want to. His science fiction trilogy has been on my to-read list ever since I came across them while stocking shelves at Books-a-Million.
Living: TA Barron
Mr. Barron’s Great Tree of Avalon series was my introduction to the Merlin mythology. I knew of Merlin, of course, because who doesn’t know the great wizard in The Sword in the Stone from Disney? He was chased by a squirrel and they were almost eaten by a barracuda!
TA Barron made the Merlin mythology accessible to the younger crowd who didn’t want to slog through the other Merlin origin stories out there (trust me, some of them are a slog). They’re aimed towards a younger generation, anyways.
I follow him on Facebook, took a quiz on “How much do you know about Avalon?”, and posted my score in his comments section. He himself responded to it, and I had a mini fangirl freakout. Thank you, Mr. Barron.
Fun Fact: I’m using The Lost Years of Merlin as one of the books for my thesis research!
Dead: Lilian Jackson Braun
She’s the author of my favorite mystery series, The Cat Who. I first discovered her when I was in seventh grade (it could have been sixth!), when I found The Cat Who Could Read Backwards on my school library’s shelf. I picked it up and that was it.
I soon devoured every single one I came across, adding them to my collection as I discovered them in thrift stores and used book stores. It took a while before I could find them new, but by then, I already had pretty much every book.
Although it’s obvious that she lost track of her series in the later years, that was most likely because she had gotten so old. Her characters were entertaining and she was the original cat mystery series, seeing as she got started in the 1960s. We miss you.
Living: Rick Riordan
Although I haven’t followed his new series as closely as I did the original Percy Jackson, I will say that I am forever grateful to Mr. Riordan for introducing my sister to books. I promise you, after we got her The Lightning Thief, that is the only series she read for about three years straight. She would read all of the books, then turn around and reread them right over again. She was absolutely obsessed.
I loved the fact that Riordan’s books made ancient Greek myths accessible to a new generation of people, and that for many of them, this might be the only exposure they would ever get. For others, the Percy Jackson series would inspire them to become more knowledgeable about the Greek world, and that’s just a good thing all around.
The Lightning Thief was one of those books I recommended to most people at that reading level who said they didn’t like reading. About 90% of the time, they came back and bought the second one and told me that they loved the first one. It still makes my heart happy to hear this.
Dead: Brian Jacques
So last summer I finally got around to beginning Jacques’s Redwall series and I absolutely fell in love with it. He’s got unique dialects (with rules!) for each species, and he’s got so many interwoven stories and so much history crammed into Redwall Abbey.
I would love to meet Jacques to get some tips on how to write widespread fantasies, that require just the slightest suspension of disbelief. I know so many people that Jacques was a huge influence on, and many people will still name him as one of their favorite authors.
Living: Jenny Lawson
The #1 Living Author I would love to meet is JENNY LAWSON, from The Bloggess! I stumbled across her blog completely by accident one day and ended up laughing so hard that I nearly cried. When I started my job at Books-a-Million, I found her book and quickly snapped it up. Unsurprisingly, I also laughed until I cried all the way through her book.
Her second one, Furiously Happy, was also a laugh-until-you-cry thing, but it carries the subtitle A Funny Book About Horrible Things. I feel like you have to be in the right mindspace to read this book (you can read my review here), but it’s very gratifying overall.
Jenny seems like your average down-to-earth woman, albeit with many more taxidermied animals than the “normal” suburban mother. She seems so absolutely genuine, and I own all three of her books. I hope that, when her next book is published, I’m able to see her in person and get my books signed ❤
Dead: JRR Tolkien
Was there ever any doubt? Obviously, Tolkien is on the top of anybody’s fantasy reading list, and he’s usually one of the people listed whenever someone asks “What 3 people, living or dead, would you like to have dinner with?”
Tolkien pretty much created the modern fantasy epics, and as someone who is currently writing a fantasy novel as her master’s thesis, he has been enormously influential in my line of work. I was able to introduce some students to him a few years ago, when I taught the reading classes, and it’s forever remained one of my favorite things.
If you’ve never read anything by him, might I suggest picking up The Hobbit? It’s a great introduction to Middle Earth.
Whew. That got a bit wordy, didn’t it?
I hope you enjoyed reading about my author crushes as much as I enjoyed writing about them. Let me know of your thoughts in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.