Authors We Love
Right now I’m at the conference of the South Carolina Writers Workshop. We’re slumming it at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort. It’s a rough gig, I tell ya.
One of the big draws for me this year was the keynote speaker, author Joshilyn Jackson. I’m a huge fan of southern fiction in general, and I’ve loved Joshilyn’s writing ever since her debut novel knocked my socks off – Gods In Alabama. When I was invited to teach here at SCWW, I waffled on my answer until I heard Joshilyn would be here – then I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
So that brings up today’s question. What author would make you pack your bags and head out across the country to hear them speak and the chance to possibly (gasp) talk with them?
Tell us… and have a good weekend. (You know I will!)
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>Anne LaMott, Pat Conroy or Brennan Manning. (I know, nutty, right?)
>Tough one, but probably James Scott Bell, because I buy everything that he writes about writing.
>What a fun question! I would be way too timid to ever talk to any of these authors, but would definitely pay to attend a workshop led by any of them. My first choice would be the YA author, David Almond because his lyrical storytelling makes every interaction I have with his books a magical experience. My second choice would be Tim O'Brien, for capturing the psychology of war and the power of Story in ways I've never encountered before. Thirdly–even though he's not a novelist–would be the auteur Wes Anderson. Who else can create characters like him?
>OOPS…forgot Francine Prose
>Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Kathryn Stockett, Charles Martin, Stephenie Meyer, Sarah Addison Allen
>Oh, I didn't really answer your question–I've met so many authors, but it was a thrill for me to finally meet Dr. Richard Mabry at the ACFW Conference in Indianapolis. What a kind and gracious man. I felt as if I already knew him, though we'd never met.
>Oh! I adore Joshilyn Jackson's books! I didn't realize that she was the keynote here at that conference. If only I'd known….
Plus, this sounds like a great place for a conference!
Sounds like a good place to heal up a stress fracture, too.
>James Scott Bell would do it for me… and did. Just arrived home from an awesome four days at the Surrey Int'l Writers' Conference where he was one of the presenters. I took in all of his workshops and was also privileged to have a one-on-one 'Blue Pencil' appointment with him. Probably the best conference I've ever attended! 🙂
>What a good question, though for me it's more which one will get me to venture into town. Some do. Sometimes.
>Fiction: Alexander McCall Smith
Non-fiction: Mary Pipher, Barbara Ehrenreich
Lots of authors come to the Boston area and I try to hear as many as I can. Writers need to support one another.
>Ann Rice, Robert Liparulo, Sibella Giorello, Steven James. In secular: Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, and/or Barbara Parker.
>I was lucky enough to meet Kristin Cashore last November. Other authors I’d love to meet: JK Rowling, Robin McKinley, Phillip Pullman, Tolkien and CS Lewis.
>John Dunning, one of the most overlooked talents of our time.
>Definitely Cynthia Rylant. I’m not so much star-struck as just feel we’d be great friends.
>I’m not very original here, but I would love an opportunity to sit and chat with Francine Rivers. And I have to agree, I’d be star struck if I had the chance to meet J.K. Rowling. I admire both of these authors so much for different reasons. I’m a West Coast girl, but my dad has been working in South Carolina on and off for two years now and raves about its beauty. Have fun, Rachelle!
>Anne Tyler. I’ve read every book she’s written. Some of them twice.
>I did drive seven hours from NE to MN to see Anne Lamott one weekend — does that count? I’d also go the distance to see Lauren Winner. Girl Meets God is one of my favorite memoirs ever.
>Stephen King, no contest. I’ve read every piece of writing that Yankee fool has put out since I was a kid and loved every word of it. I would travel to Maine just to stand in front of his house and make a sad number-one-fan face until he comes out to say hi to me. Others I’d be happy to meet? Chuck Palahnuik, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Harris, and Harlan Ellison, even though the latter would probably black my eye or something for ranking him out in an essay about being unprofessional in his dealings within the industry and ungrateful for his readership.
>Max Lucado and John Maxwell – I’ve heard both of them speak – excellent motivational speakers.Fiction: This is a tough one because there are so many great writers, but I would love to hear Francine Rivers. I would also like to hear Jannette Oake speak on her writing journey.
>I love Southern writers and would love to meet Rick Bragg(“All Over But the Shoutin'”). Fanny Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes) is coming next month for a book-signing and I’ve got the date marked on my calendar.
>Let’s see-I used to know Dick Francis when he was the Queen’s jockey – always the gentleman. and i heard Robert Dugoni give a fabulous talk the other week. I knew Frank Herbert when he was writing Dune but, unfortunately, it didn’t mean much to me then and James Patterson’s first wife was my friend’s daughter so I wouldn’t even read him for a long time. I guess the one I’d really like to meet is Mark Halprin author of A Winter’s Tale. I love his ideals and the beauty of each phrase.
>RWA and ACFW offers so many opportunites to hear my favorite romance authors that I have to leave those folks off the list. So..Claire Cook(Must Love Dogs) for sure and Jeanne Ray (Julie and Romeo).
>Charles Martin. I could read his books over and over and over and over… actually, I do!
>First on my list was Richard Paul Evans–his writing is amazing–but I’m happy to say that I have been lucky enough to meet, talk with, and receive an endorsement from him last year.After reading Garden Spells, I’d like to meet and talk with Sarah Addison Allen.I’d also love to meet Nicholas Sparks.
>I’d travel to see D.A Carson or J.K. Rowling. 🙂
>Barry Eisler, though I might try to keep the political discussion to a minimum.
>No fair rubbing it in. I’m just a few (maybe 3) hours away and couldn’t pull together the cash or time to make SCWW.I would love to meet Orson Scott Card or Scott Westerfeld. Hmmm, I must have a thing for Scotts? Anyway, I love both of their work and it would be wonderful to talk with them about writing.
>Oh gee I can’t pick one or even five. I want to meet all or most of my literary giants. I’d settle for Stephen King.
>Loved meeting Robert Liparulo and Brandilyn Collins. Truly wonderful people and friends. Would love to meet Vince Flynn–and offer to write the romance for Mitch Rapp. His choice for Mitch was not good. ;)Frank Peretti. Chris Fabry. Tom Morrisey. Francine Rivers. Kristen Heitzmann. To name a few.
>Oh deeply envious here. I’m actually reading Joshilyn Jackson’s ‘Girl Who stopped swimming’ at the moment.There are so many authors…I would love to hear David Mitchell or Paolo Coehlo speak. To be honest I could listen to any author speak really. 😉 Have a wonderful workshop!
>Hi Rachelle,Amy Tan. And until an unfortunate family situation arose I was planning to meet you this weekend and get some much needed sand therapy. Alas. But when it does work out, I’ll be that much more prepared. Enjoy!
>Without hesitation it’d have to be both Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. They’re both equally my all-time favorite authors. I always buy their books in hardcover as soon as they come out. As of late, Ted Dekker is making my list too. I’ve been reading more and more of his work and it is really compelling.http://timmartinwriter.blogspot.com/
>Jennifer Weiner. An editor once said my writing reminded her of Weiner’s. I try to work that compliment into all my conversations. “What would you like for dinner?” “Did I ever tell you that an editor once said…”
>Okay, Missy Rachelle, time to call in a favor. (Oh, what–you don’t owe me one? I could’ve sworn…) Your pic clinched it for me–put my name into teach next year.
>Oh I wish I were on the beach. You lucky girl.I’d pick: Adrian Plass, Max Lucado, and if I could time travel it would have to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 🙂
>Oh, Cormac McCarthy and Marilynne Robinson for some exquisite word-wrangling, David Sedaris and Margaret Atwood for drollery and discourse, and a medium (with the right diction and timing) to channel Mark Twain.
>And Terry Brooks !!!
>First and foremost, Frank Peretti. Also Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Patricia Cornwell, Margaret George, and Ted Dekker.
>I just got back from the Myrtle Beach area. It was 80 when we were there – tough gig – I know it! I think I would travel far and wide to hear Liz Curtis Higgs. Since we write the same genre, and I love it that she travels so much, I would love to pick her brain about weaving history into novels.
>I really want to meet Lisa Samson and Athol Dickson. We are online buddies, but I love their writing so much, and would love to hear them speak and learn from them. Oh, and River Jordan.Some of my other favorites, I’ve already been blessed to meet. And they didn’t make me feel star struck or dorky because they are wonderful, real, down to earth people.
>Since Dick Francis is no longer an option…:(… I’d have to say Elizabeth Peters.
>Such a lovely view. My heart pines for the beach. I’d love to meet J.K. Rowling, Harlan Coben, Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Francine Rivers, Debbie Macomber–although I’d love to knit with her, Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. My list could probably go on. I like seeing the different authors listed here…gives me new ones to explore.
>Probably Toni Morrison. I would have liked to have met David Halberstam. I’d like to meet Robert McCammon and Paul Johnson too. But the discussion would be the best thing. I’d like to have them all together, discussing writing, and I just get to listen and ask dumb questions every once in a while without them getting annoyed. Is that a dream scenario or what?
>Ah, Rachelle, I feel your pain. It’s a rough life but someones got to do it right?Be blessed.
>I’ve wanted to meet Dean Koontz since I was 13 (so 23 years). I wrote him a letter when I was 22, and he wrote me back. It was handwritten, and incredibly kind and encouraging.
>I would say Oli Johns and Cody James, but as their publisher I’m in the privileged position of being able to call them for coffee and talk. The authors who’ve made me weak at the knees with fanboy-ness have been Martha Nussbaum and Leela Gandhi. Writers I’d pack my bags for? Banana Yoshimoto, Marie Darrieussecq, Elfriede Jelinek, Dubravka Ugresic, Haruki Murakami
>Tessa Dare. She wasn’t the only reason I went to RWA Nationals this past year, but it was a HUGE perk for me.
>Oh, I second Mary’s. Thought of one more I had to list. I think Donald Miller would be cool to meet.I, Wendy promise not to leave twenty to forty comments giving names of authors I want to meet. But I could. Oh could I!Enjoy that view! ~ Wendy
>For me, Leif Enger is a hero. I wonder if I’d stutter in his presence.Also, Marilynne Robinson. Wow.
>I feel for you. Seems rough. ;)I’ll go with Elizabeth Berg. Jodi Picoult. Wally Lamb. And/or Anne Lamott.And if they all want to be in one place, I will not stop them.~ Wendy
>Good question! For me, it would be my favorite author in Christian fiction, Francine Rivers, and my favorite author in secular fiction, Anne Tyler.
>I think Maeve Binchy would be fun to listen to. Nicholas Sparks is on the list but he probably wouldn’t want to hear what I have to say about turning good books into shlocky movies. Margaret Mitchell of course, but I guess that’s not really plausible :0). My question at the end of this post would also be, “What would you ask them?” I’m not sure I could come up with just one question though.
>I'll try link once more:
If it doesn't work, I must be meant to keep Dave Barry all to myself, ha.
>LOVE this topic. I have crushes on authors the way others do on movie stars. When Dave Barry came to KC to speak in a small forum, OH YEAH, I signed up. My hubby went with me to protect me from myself and to protect Dave from….whatever. I wrote a story about it, with my fave pic of Dave and me included. 🙂
>I'm with Lila. I know it's cliche – but JK Rowling. I think I'd be a little star struck.
>There are so many writers I'd love to meet, I'm not even sure where to start! Russell Banks for one, and in non-fiction, Peter Biskind. They're the first to come to mind.
But I doubt any of them are likely to come down to my part of the world, so I'll just dream from afar…
>I heard Joshilyn Jackson speak (at Calvin's Festival of Faith and Writing) before I ever read any of her books. She was AMAZING.
>Well, since Tolkien and Lewis aren't options, I'll have to say Andrew Peterson, Jeff Overstreet, Donita K Paul, or Stuart Vaughn Stockton. Maybe Ted Dekker.
>@ Angela – I met Patterson last year, too. I didn't get to hear him speak, but he was doing an autograph signing. He was so nice; he made a point to say something to everyone. If I ever get an opportunity to hear him speak, I'll take it.
Others I'd love to hear, oh, where to start? Some of these I'll never be able to hear, since they are deceased, but I still would've loved the chance:
John Grisham, Mary Stewart, JK Rowling, Jane Austen, Steinbeck, Frost, Shakespeare, Toni Morrison, Tolkein, Eudora Welty, Daphne, Du Maurier, the Bronte sisters, Alice Walker, and so many more!
>Technically I know you mean fiction authors, but I had my dream meeting two Sundays ago when I had a chance to meet Dr Charles Stanley in person at his book signing in Phoenix and after 22 years had the chance to tell him "thank you" in person. I doubt I'll ever have a "meet an author" moment that tops that.
>One author I'd wanted to meet was Nicholas Sparks. I didn't have to travel far to hear him speak because the last stop on his recent book tour was Sacramento, where he grew up. I live less than an hour's drive from the city, so a friend and I headed down from the Sierra Foothills and joined the 1,000 others who overflowed the Borders store. I'm short, so I couldn't see Mr. Sparks unless I stood on tiptoe, but I could hear him. He gave some great writing advice during the Q&A.
I'd also like to hear Francine Rivers and Tamara Alexander speak.
>I was able to hear and meet James Patterson last year, and the moment I entered his presence I became a geeked-out idiot. I ran across a picture of me today standing across the table from him while he signed my book, and you can almost see the stars in my eyes twinkling in rainbow colors. It's almost embarrassing. Total. Geek. And I'm 100% confident if I met him again tomorrow I'd react the same way.
>Not to be cliché, but J.K. Rowling. I'd travel around the world to listen to her/have a chance to talk with her, much less across the country.
>Neil Gaiman, once when I was studying abroad at Oxford I flew to Dublin for 24 hours to see him and Amanda Palmer
>Neil Gaiman, once when I was studying abroad at Oxford I flew to Dublin for 24 hours to see him and Amanda Palmer
>I did for Jasper Fforde. My mom and I were planning a trip to NYC to celebrate my graduation with my bachelor's. I called her up and suggested we delay going until mid-July of that year because he'd be in NYC doing a signing.
Other authors I'd do it for? If I had the funds, probably my friends for their debuts. Also, Tamora Pierce. Kiersten White, if I had the funds.