As I prepare for the release of my novel, Foreseen, I’ve been giving more thought to my favorite authors, and more particularly to WHY they are my favorite. I’ve realized I am very picky. In fact, there is no single author who embodies all the elements I prefer in my reading. Rather, my favorites are a collection of authors each of whom handle at least one aspect of my preferences in a stellar manner. So who are they? Here’s the list:
David Baldacci: Having an author of political/espionage thrillers on the list may come as a surprise to those who know me well. But as I said, none of these authors hit all of my criteria for ideal novels. I don’t care for politics and espionage. But Baldacci is a master of tightly interweaving the threads of his plots, and keeping the story moving. He keeps me reading to find out how he will bring it all together.
Michael Crichton: Michael Crichton’s science-based foundation for his novels was fascinating to me. From the time I saw the first movie version of Andromeda Strain as a child (and had fluorescent green nightmares for years), I was hooked. His plots were not perfect but the ideas – heaven.
Jo Rowling: Her writing is decent, most of the plots reasonably solid, but I loved the idea of extraordinary events occurring in our everyday world without us noticing. To be honest, she could have gone much further in developing the coherency of why we muggles don’t notice. But she wasn’t writing for picky adults like me, so I will not fault her for that. Besides, it gave me something to think about – how would the wizarding world handle various aspects of remaining secret? In any event, her magical realism captured me.
Isaac Asimov: By today’s standards, Asimov’s books are slow. I don’t read them anymore because I don’t have enough time. Nevertheless, the ideas remain with me and always will. The Three Laws of Robotics. The Encyclopaedia Galatica. Hari Seldon – for awhile I considered using a pen name variant of Hari Seldon. Intriguing, enduring ideas – Asimov nailed that criterion.
As I thought about authors whose work I can read over and over, one stands out: John C. Brewer. Perhaps that’s self-serving since he’s my writing partner, but if you think about it, that had to be true. I spend hundreds of hours reading, rereading and editing his novels. I could not do that if he wasn’t hitting most of my criteria. The versions I read are rough, often with engineering-like descriptions of a room or setting, but that’s where the editing comes in, but they are well paced, well constructed, and based on interesting ideas. At this point in my life, John easily qualifies as my favorite author.
I have a more authors whose work I love to read and have excelled in some aspect I enjoy – Orson Scott Card, Liz Hand, Alex Scarrow but my list grows long. I can see how each of these authors has inspired me in my writing, and how I’ve incorporated lessons learned from each of them. I suppose all writers are like that. We are indebted to those who have come before and indirectly taught and nurtured our craft. So, to my list of favorite authors, I say, “Thank You!”
I love being someone’s favorite author!!! Thanks!