Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top Ten Authors I'd Like to Meet

Who are the top ten authors that you'd DIE to meet?

Wow, what a tough question. In part, this question is tough for me, because I've been lucky enough to meet so very many of my favorite authors already. Working in a bookstore, and now in libraries, plus attending book-related conferences every chance I get, the list of famous authors I've met briefly, or had dinner with, or heard speak is ridiculously long. I worked a book signing with J.K. Rowling - a total madhouse, that she handled with complete class. I hosted a book signing and accordion sing-a-long with Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket, before he was well-known, that had parents angrily storming out when they completely didn't get his awesomely twisted sense of humor. I have been delighted and charmed at book talks by Brian Jacques, Ray Bradbury, and Jeff Kinney.  That having been said, I'm sure there are more authors that I'd love the chance to hang out with.

The only other quibble I have with this question, is that honestly, authors ARE my rockstars, but I value my life pretty darn highly. I can't think of a single one that I'd literally die for. No, not even her. Not him, either. Nope. No way. Sorry. Can't have one of my kidneys, either. I'm keeping those for myself.

So, if I assume the dying question is merely a figure of
speech, who'd make the top ten? I wasn't going to go with authors who are dead - but there are a few I guess I have to mention.

Isaac Asimov! The undisputed king of science-fiction, raconteur and all-around charmer. This is the guy who invented The Laws of Robotics. He died while I was in high school and I felt like I "just missed him" - if I'd been just a bit older, or had my own car, I'm sure I could have managed to run into him at a sci-fi convention of some sort.

James Oliver Rigney, Jr., better known as Robert Jordan. Never met him! I love his Wheel of Time books so much, but at the time I was reading them, I was working putting together some author events and book signings and met some other authors of my favorite books - and sad to say, I had a few pretty negative experiences with authors who shall remain nameless. It's not always a good thing to meet your heroes. I had several opportunities to see Robert Jordan at various book events, but I always passed it up, because I loved his books so much - what if our meeting didn't go well? It would totally take the shine off of those books for me. And then, very suddenly it seemed, he was diagnosed with a rare disease, and he was gone. Darn it. Now I really wish I had met him and I'll never get the chance.

Okay, if we're talking dead authors, I'll have to throw this one in there: William Shakespeare. I actually kind of don't want to meet him. I'm picturing him, in genuine Renaissance-period wear, this filthy, flea-bitten, harried poet. I don't know why I think of Shakespeare as being an incredibly grumpy person, but I feel certain that he was. He was a genius beyond compare, he worked insanely long hours in the theatre, he was separated from his family for long periods of time so he could work in London. All of those things must add up to a foul temperament, right? Plus, as I mentioned earlier, the smell. I'm sure that would not be good. But, if time traveling was magically possible and I could meet him, I would, because I've spent so many years working onstage and backstage at Shakespearean theatres, it would be great bragging rights to meet The Bard himself.

All right, enough of that! Let's move on to living authors.
The next two are easy. Technically, I suppose you could say that I've "met" them already - if you count being within arm's reach in the same room. Last June at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, I attended the YA Authors Coffee Klatch, an awesome event where you get to sit down for coffee and spend 10 minutes or so with a random, rotating set of authors. Every 10 minutes a bell is rung, and your author gets up and heads to a new table. Just as the event was ending, both Cassandra Clare and Cheryl Rainfield were heading towards my table. Aaargh! So close! Yet so far away.

I want to meet Cassandra Clare because I hate her books so much! I want to understand the person who wrote them a bit better. I'm sorry Team Jace, I just don't understand you. Incest isn't romantic - it's yucky!

I want to meet Cheryl Rainfield because she seems like such a survivor - a strong, amazing woman. I don't think she looks like her photo at all, but I still recognized her right away. Is that weird?

One author who I'd like to meet is Maggie Stiefvater. I loved her Wolves of Mercy Falls books. She did a local book signing recently, but I didn't find out about it until the date had already passed. I can't believe I haven't met her yet!

I would love to meet Brenna Yovanoff. I really liked The Replacement even if it was just a hair too scary for me, and I have some kind of vague idea that she has a great sense of style.

I'd love to meet Paranormalcy author Kiersten White. At least from her Twitter feed, she seems as bubbly and funny as her characters.

Wouldn't it be great to meet Stephenie Meyer? I am not a Twi-hard, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did really enjoy Twilight. Let's just pretend Breaking Dawn never happened. And I loved, loved, loved The Host. I can't believe that The Host hasn't gotten more attention - that was a great book.

I have a terrible confession to make. I do not particularly care for Neil Gaiman's books. I don't hate them, I just kind of feel "meh" about most everything of his that I've tried to read. But, I love his blog. Reading it is like reading a letter from a friend. And he seems like such an interesting person. He keeps bees! He owns a Narnia lamp out in the middle of the woods! I like his accent. Even though I'm not his superfan #1, I'd still like to meet Neil Gaiman.

Wow, that's 10 already. I'm sure I could think of more. Who would you like to meet?


  1. Nice list, Madigan! And a VERY tough question - will have to ponder that. Mainly, I'm too shy to meet authors...

  2. Too shy, really???
    I kind of know what you mean, though... certain authors, I feel like a total doofus around. Like, what on earth can I say in the face of their total awesomeness?
    Working in a bookstore for so long, and helping with book signings got me over that (mostly) I still geek out and resort to silence and stunned looks when some of my top-ranked authors are around. It can't be helped!



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