Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fifteen Authors

Who have changed my life . . .

Mary Doria Russell: for writing The Sparrow specifically for me. If I could only choose one novel to keep forever, it would be this one.

Elizabeth Peters: for giving me Amelia Peabody Emerson and her Victorian Egyptologist family (especially Ramses).

Agatha Christie: for introducing me to mysteries and being my salvation as a young teen when my options weren't as wide as they are for today's YA market.

Charlotte Bronte: for writing "in the red light of emotion, and not in the white light of truth." Virginia Woolf may have disapproved, but it's the passion that I find compelling in Jane Eyre and my favorite, Villette.

Virginia Woolf: because, though I diverged from her critique of Bronte, A Room of One's Own is beautiful and powerful and required reading for every female artist.

Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter: for Brother Cadfael, and that moment in my Mystery Novels course in college when I said, "I didn't know you could do this!" And for making me fall in love with Wales and its history in The Brothers of Gwynnedd Quartet.

Becca Fitzpatrick: for being my friend before she was famous--and after. And for her wisdom, generosity, and constant encouragement.

P.D. James: for Adam Dalgliesh. The poet/detective who would melt any woman's heart, even if he keeps his own locked away. And for the loveliest of mysteries and characters.

Craig Johnson: for not being what I expected. I wouldn't have thought I'd like a mystery series about a Wyoming sheriff, but I adore Walt Longmire. It's a good thing Johnson is one of the best authors in front of a group--it was his personality that made me buy his first book.

Thomas Cahill: for inspiring a major crush on the Irish. Every person who loves books should thank the Irish monks who almost singlehandedly preserved what little we still have of Greek and Roman literature while 90% of books were lost to the Dark Ages. And let's hear it for Saint Patrick--I will never again not honor you appropriately on March 17th!

Alison Weir: for writing my favorite biographies ever. Especially good with the women--Katherine Swynford, Queen Isabella (the she-wolf of France), Eleanor of Aquitaine. I buy every biography she writes and they have given me a multitude of interesting historical tidbits.

Juliet Marillier: for introducing me to historical fantasy (quite possibly she invented it as well). Because of her, I know what I love to write.

Laurie R. King: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Enough said.

J.R.R. Tolkien: do I really have to elaborate? Call me a geek, call me a fangirl, call me a hopeless romantic in the broadest sense . . . but you can have my Lord of the Rings books when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands. And possibly not even then.

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