I saw this game on Facebook and thought it would be fun to play here since we love authors and books. The Rules: list fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and made an impression. Don’t take too long to think about it. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
Here’s my COOL FIFTEEN list:
VICTOR HUGO – For LES MISÉRABLES alone Hugo will always be on my best-loved list.
EMILE ZOLA – Nineteenth century France is one of my passions. So many things about that period speak to me – the Impressionist painters, post-Haussmann Paris, the literature… One of my favorite writers is Emile Zola. Like Hugo, Zola provides a vivid window into this world.
JANE AUSTEN – What’s not to love about the original romance writer and her body of work?
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD – Nick Carraway had me at chapter one. When I reached the end of GATSBY, I was hungry for more Fitzgerald.
ALICE HOFFMAN – She’s brilliant with magical realism.
SYLVIA PLATH – The way she weaves words and turns phrases brings me to my knees. In my book, she’s a literary goddess.
JK ROWLING – Harry, Ron and Hermione are like personal friends.
DOROTHEA BENTON FRANK – She speaks to the southern girl in me. I want to be her when I grow up.
TRACY CHEVALIER – The beauty of her smart books takes my breath away.
NORA ROBERTS – Nora is the one who made me want to write romance. Her well-crafted storied still sweep me away.
As an author, one of the perks of the job is meeting other writers and getting to know them beyond the pages of their books. It’s only natural that some of my favorite authors have become my friends. I dedicate this portion of “15 Cool Authors” to them:
KATHERINE GARBERA – Kathy was the very first published author I met…way back when. We became acquainted through our local RWA chapter. Since then, she’s became one of my very best friends. I’ll never forget the day I met Kathy. It was my first RWA chapter meeting. I was nervous and unsure of why I was even there. It just happened that on that same day, Kathy walked in with the cover of her very first book (THE BACHELOR NEXTDOOR wasn’t even out yet and she’d just received the cover flat). I was awe struck. Standing right in front of me was a living, breathing author, who was so talented, yet so personable and approachable. She made me feel as if I’d always been part of the chapter. Her smart, sassy prose hooked me from the get go and her sweet personality has made her friend for life.
CINDY KIRK – Cindy and I met at my first RWA conference. Synchronicity had a hand in our friendship when by chance we found ourselves at the same luncheon table two days in a row (amid 2,000 women and no assigned seats). We were both unpublished, but dogged determined to change that. We became fast friends and corresponded over the years – mind you, this was pre-email, back in the prehistoric days of the telephone and letter. Now, Cindy is not only a good friend, she’s my plotting and brainstorming partner. Her books are fun and heartfelt and I always look forward to reading her next release.
CATHERINE KEAN – Catherine writes rich, beautiful historical romances. I’ve always described Catherine’s books as “jewel boxes” full of exquisite treasures. Her beautiful touch has influenced my work, too, since she’s been my critique partner for fourteen years.
KATHLEEN O’BRIEN – Kathleen is the wise woman in my life. She has such a poetic soul that radiates from the pages of her books. She was an established author when I met her. Now, I am so very fortunate to call her a friend and brainstorming partner.
KRISTAN HIGGINS – Kristan is fabulously funny and talented, and she has one of the most generous spirits of any writer I’ve met. Her Rita-winning novel “Catch of the Day” was the one that hooked me. Now, I count the days until next Kristan Higgins release.
So, there you have it…my Cool 15. I’m dying to hear who’s on your list. Since I’m celebrating being part of a group of six more very cool authors who have each crafted books in the latest FORTUNES OF TEXAS series (I’m book five out of the six-book series – book one launched this month. My title FORTUNE’S UNEXPECTED GROOM will be released in May 2012), I will give away the first two titles in the FORTUNES OF TEXAS series: Karen Templeton’s FORTUNE’S CINDERELLA and Marie Ferrarella’s FORTUNE’S VALENTINE BRIDE to one lucky person who posts their own 15 Cool Authors list.