Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weekly Geeks - 2010-08: What Is It About “THAT” Author

Tell your readers what is it about "an" author that you are most passionate about, that have you coming back for more from them, following their every blog post – literally blackmailing people to read their books?
Who are some of your all time favorite authors?
And what is it about them that makes you keep going back for more?

I've never considered myself much of a stalker, but that probably reflects more of my time constraints and internet ignorance. There are definitely authors whose books I wait impatiently for, and perhaps will even attend a release for. (Or at least dream about attending. My Littles often prevent such fun.) Some of those favorite type of authors are: Brandon Mull, Brandon Sanderson, Anne McCaffrey, Michael Buckley, Shannon Hale, Rick Riordan, JK Rowling, Lisa Wheeler...

Some of my favorite no-longer-writing authors: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, David Eddings, Emily Dickinson, LM Montgomery....

And about that "one" author...the one that haunts me is Shannon Hale. I've read most of her books, and the ones I haven't read are because I haven't gotten my hands on them. Why does she haunt me?? First because I think she is amazing and I love her books. Her books are some of my Book Crushes. Her writing is lyrical and wonderfully escapist and her stories are addicting. I can't put them down. Most that I own have already been read more than once. I have even plotted to "spread the love" by choosing her books for book clubs and giving them away as gifts.

Yet there are other authors I could say the same things about. Why does she haunt me?? Because...this feels very confessional and perhaps arrogant or something else equally unflattering....but I feel like she writes exactly the kind of books I could write. Now to be clear, I don't feel jealous. I don't feel like she "beat" me to anything. I don't feel anything negative at all. More like she is my perfect personal role model. I read her books and think, "Yes! I could write something like this. I can do it. Someday. Someday I will!" In contrast, I do not feel the same about, say, Brandon Sanderson. I harbor no delusions of grandeur that I could create such epic scope of world and plot. I love his books, but he is not my "writing match."

So I hang on her work. I study the words and pacing and plotting and structure and world building. Her worlds are deceptively simple. They use a minimum of information, but that information creates the exact right setting without overload. She is amazing. I want to be her when I grow up.

I'm thinking perhaps I should work on that stalking thing. I need to find her online...


  1. She writes a wonderful blog. And now I'm feeling especially sad you couldn't come to the party awhile back and meet her in such a fun casual setting.

  2. I haven't read any of her books yet, but do own a few. I really should get round to reading one.

  3. I've read Austenland by Shannon Hale. I enjoyed it, although I found bits of it annoying at times. I didn't know she had any other books. What book by her would you recommend as her best?

    You know, I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know most of the authors you mentioned (the still living ones, that is), apart from Hale and Rowling.

  4. @Suey - I'll have to go find the link that is probably on your blog! :)

    @Farmlane - please do!

    @Candletea - Oh Dear. I loved Austenland, but it is a different animal than her norm. It was her first book "for adults." You've got to read Goose Girl, Enna Burning, Book of a Thousand Days, and Princess Academy (which is a newberry honor). These are all YA fantasy. If I had to pick...sigh would be Book of a Thousand Days and Goose Girl.

    Some of the still living authors I like are local, which is probably why I know of them. Others write YA series and fantasy. One is actually a picture book writer! :)

  5. You know what's funny, I feel the same way about how she writes. Except, I think it's just that I WANT to write like her, not that I actually CAN. When you ever write your books, I'll definitely pick them up!