In an effort to branch out from merely being a “writing blog,” I’m taking the giant leap to FANGIRL. I know, it’s huge *rolls eyes* but I think I can handle this topic: author crushes. No, not character crushes, as there are plenty of those posts floating around the internets, but the people who write the characters we love to love … or hate.
Without further ado:
1. Rick Bragg
I have made no secret (not even from DH) that I have a crush on Alabama author, professor and Pulitzer prize-winning former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg. I started reading his stuff when we first moved to Mobile two years ago. I was looking for a regional voice to help me learn about my new home, and his name surfaced time and time again.
First, I fell in love with his writing style and voice. Then, when he visited the Mobile Writers Guild in January 2011, I fell in love with his ability to spin yarns and make people laugh. When he started writing for Southern Living Magazine (and Prince of Frogtown), I fell in love with his transformation from scruffy, road-worn bachelor to unlikely husband and proud stepfather. (Also, the Mustang for his stepson helped.)
I’ve never met Russ Nelson, but I’m told by friends who have that he’s handsome and charming, which is great and all, but it’s his writing that reeled me in. A writer friend lent me his first book, Teach Me, after I was about 75% done with my first WIP. There’s a common theme and he’s also an Alabama writer. (Embarrassing confession: After I realized the similarities, I wrote a totally gratuitous scene as an acknowledgment to Nelson. Surprisingly, my critique group didn’t pick up on it, so perhaps not as obvious as I thought … even though the teacher’s name is Mr. Nelson!)
After reading another of his books, Days of Little Texas (I still need to get my hands on Breathe My Name and Throat), I realized we have a common appreciation for the slightly twisted and uncomfortable. Days addresses a number of issues I’ve debated with DH over the last 10 years. Make me squirm, make me think and I’m done-for.
He’s close to my age, he’s sweet, he’s Southern, he’s well-spoken, and his first book, Where Things Come Back is a quirky bildungsroman from a male POV that’s reminiscent of Catcher in the Rye. I’ll be honest, Catcher is not one of my favorite books, but throw in a woodpecker (and woodpecker tattoo), zombies (kind of), and 21st-century sensibilities and it’s a whole different ball game. Bravo. Also, he quoted my review on his site, so bonus points!
As a hopelessly straight female, I can’t claim to have any female crushes, but there are quite a number of “scribbling women” I wish were my BFFs. (There are many more, but I’ve narrowed it down.)
1. Stephenie Meyer
Go ahead. Laugh. Throw things at the screen and yell, “Cliche, j’accuse!” But she was my first introduction into YA at a time when I was strung out, sleepless (DD had just been born) and I was tired of the adult, literary stuff I’d been trudging through. When I read an interview that said she’d written Twilight while her youngest son was an infant and not yet sleeping through the night, she became my hero. (Now I know that MANY YA authors have young children and are sleepless, as well.)
I also loved that she was willing to stick to her conservative principles and practice “less is more.” That takes restraint. Going back, I can rip the book to shreds, but it will always have a special place on my shelf and Meyer will forever be the BFF that isn’t.
2. Elizabeth Eulberg
We work with a number of authors on Novel Novice and some are hands-on, and some barely acknowledge us, even when we devote an entire month to promoting and mining the educational aspects of their books. They’re busy, we understand. But sometimes, like in Elizabeth‘s case, they are so enthused, so accessible and so much fun that they are an absolute joy to work with, and when we have that connection with an author, we are personally invested in the success of their books.
Elizabeth and I also share a love of music, especially Rachmaninoff, as well as an appreciation for Jane Austen. Hello, kindred spirit!
3. Jane Austen
Yeah, she’s dead, I know. But life would never be boring with her as a BFF. Read between the lines of her (seemingly) innocent novels and you’ll find a witty, thoughtful, shrewd and sometimes covertly bawdy firecracker. I mean, she created the prototype for tall, dark and handsome: Mr. Darcy. For this, I bow down and kiss her satin slippers.
Your turn: Who are your author crushes and fantasy BFFs?
Author Kristen Lamb said:
THIS is more like it. What great creativity!!! I had a total fangirl crush on NYTBSA Bob Mayer. He taught the Warrior Writer Workshop and I started my blog warriorwriters (DOH!) as an homage to all I had learned from him. Of course his teachings must have worked too well because I never expected my blog to get the following it did NOR did I expect to be a social media expert (again, thank Bob’s program on facing fear).
So now every time I look at my original blog name I laugh at being such a fan girl.
Also a huge fangirl of Chuck Wendig. I once told him that I threw panties at his blog, but they just bounced off the screen.
James Rollins is another author that had me all 8th grade stupid girl. In fact, when I think about it, I never went fangirl over singers, bands or actors…just authors.
And female BFFs? I will be BFFs with Amy Tan and Tess Gerritsen one day….as soon as the restraining orders expire :D.
“I threw panties at his blog but they only bounced off the screen” I LOVE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR.
I need to REALLY pick up more leisure reading. Thank you both for giving me some direction on what authors for which to look out.
Great reading… HERE I COME!
You know, I ALMOST put Chuck Wendig as a runner-up. Anyone who can so artfully string together profanity on a daily basis and consistently make me laugh till I cry is totally crush-worthy!
I have a total BFF people-crush on romance writer Elizabeth Hoyt. I dream of writing like her. And I met her once at a conference and liked her even more! Imagine my joy when I got to walk down a long hallway having a conversation with her … then TOTALLY stuck my foot in my mouth by questioning one of her characters. *facepalm* Hopefully someday I’ll get a chance to redeem myself. =P
V.V. Denman said:
Hilarious. And I feel exactly the same way about Francine Rivers, Nicholas Sparks, and Thomas Umstattd. (I know, that last one isn’t a writer, but if we were BFFs he could keep my blog looking fantastic.)
And as a new writer, don’t even get me started on all the agents I’m crushing on right now.
Thanks for the post. Loving it.
Oh, agents … I didn’t think of that. Hmmm.
I don’t have any author crushes. I feel terrible now. Like, how can this be? I kinda want to say John Green, but I would probably put him in the friend zone pretty fast. Yeah, no author crushes. I do have two songwriter/musician crushes because of their writing ability. John Pringle, I am in love. So in love. Also, Jason Isbell. His songs just turn my insides to mush.
Author BFFs- Oh, I am not good at this. Joshilyn Jackson because she is so funny. Meg Cabot because she is Meg Cabot.
What about Myra McEntire and Rachel Hawkins?
So, um, yeah, I was going to put both of them, but I am a little bit crazy. And since I already pretty much stalk both them I didn’t know how much of my obsession I should actually post on the internet. It may be something like Myra McEntire and Rachel Hawkins really are my author BFFs, so why would I have to pretend? 😉
Lit crushes on Nathaniel Hawthorne, Richard Peck and Avi.
Wanna be BFFs with Katherine Paterson, Laurie Halse Anderson, L.M. Montgomery, Shannon Hale, Susan Cooper, and I could go on and on…
Carrie, I’ve only even HEARD of two of your authors! 🙂
WHAT?! Get back over here… I’ll have a bag of books waiting.
Seriously? Which two? Hook her up, Carrie!
Hawthorne (blech!) and of course, LHA.
You know, we should come up with something like the Lagniappe Nappie awards … Author you’d most love to go drinking with … Author most likely to abduct you and sell your body parts in NOLA, mostly likely to take you home and introduce you to Mama, most likely to pull a Sylvia Plath and stick their head in an oven … maybe not the last one. Nothing mean, just funny. Ah, well, that’s another blog post, I guess.
Well, I gave you a Richard Peck book already–that Civil War paperback.
Avi rocks! One of my favorite books is by him–The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
Katherine Paterson wrote my all-rime favorite novel, Bridge to Terabithia.
And L.M. Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables, among others. She’s the untimate kindred spirit writer.
And since you love Jane Austen you have to borrow Austenland by Shannon Hale. It’s being made into a movie with your BFF Stephenie Meyer as an executive producer (or is it director…)
And Susan Cooper does great fantasy for middle readers. The Dark is Rising series is up there with Narnia in my book.
(Speaking of… I need to add C.S. Lewis to my crushes. Yep, another dearly departed one…)
But the author awards sound great. Must do blog in the future!
Lani Wendt Young said:
wow great idea for a post. I havent heard of any of your male writer crushes but I have to say you CANT have Stephenie Meyer as your BFF because shes already MY BFF author so there…(um, and like Kristen I too am waiting for the restraining orders to expire…)
I also would love to hang out with Maya Angelou. And Alice Walker.