Favorite Authors…who are yours? ~Tanya Hanson

Editing two upcoming releases has kept me busy this summer…the sixth book in the Hearts Crossing Ranch series (releasing this fall) and my first-ever Young Adult novel under my new pen name (releasing Fall 2013). So now I have time to read, read, read! My TBR pile is full of my filly sisters’ works as well as Gone Girl, the Hunger Games, Killing Lincoln, and non-fiction on the Donner party .











Indeed, cuddling up with my Kindle on the patio with a lovely ocean breeze blowing and a cup of Cafe Francais waiting to be sipped is my perfect afternoon. The Kindle’s so full, there’s so many authors I love that I decided to make a list of ten favorites.

1. Louisa May Alcott.  First author who got me crying while reading. Little Women will always be my gold standard. In Jack and Jill, the death of the kids’ friend Ed Devlin still takes my breath away. I re-read that chapter whenever I need to remind myself of how to depict emotion. It’s so subtle, so sweet. Just simple faith and plain old heart-tugs.

2.  Mark Twain. The ultimate, truest American author. (Those who decry Huck Finn can’t possibly ever have read this masterpiece.) Used dialect and spelled it exactly as it sounds…to the frustration of hundreds of my students!
3.  Nathaniel Hawthorne. I love this 19th century X-filer. I’ve TRIED for some of his delicious ambiguity in my upcoming Young Adult novel about the Salem Witch Trials. You might know that his ancestor John Hathorne prosecuted (persecuted?) the “witches”, an inherited wrong that so horrified Nathaniel he added the “w” to the family surname!

4.  Victoria Holt. Oh. Menfreya in the Morning still has my heart throbbing.

5.  James Patterson. Okay, they can be fluffy and maybe not even written wholly by him, but he keeps the pages turning.

6.  Anya Seton. An oldie but such a goodie is Katherine. This factual, glorious love story of Katherine de Roet and the legendary Duke of Lancaster John of Gaunt has lived in my heart for thirty years.

7.  Charles Dickens.  Oh, the master of characterization. Who could forget Miss Havisham, Scrooge, Uriah Heap. Charles Darnay. Bill Sykes…The list goes on and on and on….

8.  Dan Brown. Okay, I didn’t like the last one, but The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons kept me enthralled until I finished. I spent hours searching my art history books and the internet for the fascinating minutiae that made Code such a marvel.

9.  Norah Lofts. She’s kind of a pre Philippa Gregory. Me likee English history. (And I do like Philippa, too.)

10. Last but never least, Linda Lael Miller. The goddess of Western romance.

And I use the word “last’ very loosely. There are a billion other authors of all genres that I love to read and learn from, from Shakespeare to Thoreau to Millay to Janette Okes to anything Gettysburg to my filly sisters.

So let me know who some of your favorite authors are!

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25 thoughts on “Favorite Authors…who are yours? ~Tanya Hanson”

  1. Hi Tanya! I did a research project on the Donner Party back in school. What a tragic, enthralling story . . . it still gives me the creeps.

    My favorite authors . . . Sticking with the classics for a bit, Charlotte Bronte is on the list for Jane Eyre. I was blown away by Conrad’s Heart of Darkness but only after I read it a second time. Hated it in high school. Loved it in college. Oh! Willa Cather is on my list too.

    My all-time favorite author hands-down is still Penelope Williamson.

  2. Tanya, you’ve opened up a can of worms. I can no more make a list of favorite authors than pick up a bull and throw him. One thing I know is that Jodi Thomas and Linda Lael Miller will be high on my list. Also Kaki Warner. But Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird will also be on my list.

    Love the covers for you two newest. Your young adult novel has piqued my interest. You’re expanding your wings my dear and I’m so proud of you.

  3. Hi Vicki, oh, you hit on more authors that I love as well. And I actually loved Moby Dick in high school, too. (although I never understood that name lol.) I love Cather’s O Pioneers. Thanks for the post! Yeah, a visit to Alder creek where George and Tamsin Donner met their fate just really affected me.

  4. Hi Linda, there are simply so may wonderful authors and books. I love your anthos with Jodi. Thanks for the good wishes . I can’t wait to meet you in person at the RWA convention!

  5. Tanya, I find new favorites all the time. My favorites from a long time are Victoria Holt, LaVyrle Spencer, Jude Deveruax, Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton, Dick Francis, Tony Hillerman.

  6. I always loved Victoria Holt’s books and I buy every one of Linda Lael Miller. I always buy Dorothy Garlock and all of the Harlequin Historical westerns. There are a lot of others I always buy but to many to list.

  7. This is like asking which of my many nieces and nephews I like best…
    You named Linda Lael Miller, she is a an autobuy for me always..
    Nora Roberts, Beatrice Small, are two authors I have read for many, many years…
    There are just to many to choose from..

  8. Hi Goldie, I fell in love with Victoria Holt when I was in junior high, I think. She wrote under other names, too, and I enjoyed every single one. I also love Mary Stewart, but not the Merlin ones.

    Thanks for posting today!

  9. I know what you mean, Kathleen. Every time somebody posts today, I remember other favorites! It was kinda mean to narrow it down so small LOL. I could obviously have a list of fifty. So appreciate you stopping by today!

  10. Oh, so many! Right now I’m into Clive Cussler! Anya Seton, Sue Grafton, Anne McCafry, John Jakes, Isaac Asimov, David Brin, Mary Stewart, so many others. And, of course Tanya Hanson!!

  11. For many years Janice Holt Giles was one of my favorite authors. Her historical novels sent me to the history books and maps to look further into the subjects she wrote about.

  12. I could never narrow my list down just a few. Willa Cather from my High School days. The Petticoat and Pistols gals are very high on my list. Robin Jones Gunn and her Sisterchick series, I love. Kar
    en Kingsbury is so good I forget that I don’t personaly know her characters and weep buckets when one of them suffer. Another Harlequin author that I love is Julie Miller who write Intriges.

  13. I see so many authors I love. Kathleen Woodiwiss started my reading career and post probably my writing career, too. I fell back in love with reading with Shanna. Upstairs in my private library I keep Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, Victoria Alexander, Lisa Kleypas, the list goes on and on. Jane Eyre is a favorite along with Pride and Prejudice, North and South…WOW aren’t we lucky to have all these stories to love.

    Thanks for all the great memories.

  14. Now, Tanya, this question was cruel! Most authors today are GREAT! I read an author that I like until I’ve exhausted all their line and then proceed to the next author. I went from Victoria Holt, early on, and Anya Seton as a young girl. Then branched out to historical novels. Then I went to straight romance novels. It didn’t matter who the author was, I read…
    After I exhausted many lines of many authors, I have progressed to mystery and started with James Patterson. I read ALL his books very quickly, because as you said, he is a page turner. But very good. In some cases, I was reading one a day of his. Sue Grafton was started with A. And in the meantine, I went to Jean Auel. I waited 12 years in between two of her books. Talk about loyal. Then found Diana Gabaldon and devoured all hers. There haven’t been too many authors I don’t like. I have opened a few books and read the first page and closed it. (I can do that when I go to the library, and I haven’t bought it). So, to all you wonderful authors, You are great. Don’t stop what you are doing. The more you write the better you get. And Tanya, you are right up there with the rest. Love you all.
    Hugs to all.

  15. Favorite authors:

    LM Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables series

    JRR Tolkien- The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

    Mark Twain-The Prince and the Pauper, he also wrote wonderful essays and has remarkable quotes

    AL Milne- Winnie the Pooh series

    Jan Brett- beautiful children’s stories and colorful, gorgeous illustrations

    Carolyn Keane- Nancy Drew books

    Nora Roberts one of my first romance books

    LaVyrle Spencer- First romance book a Western Forgiving

    Debbie Macomber- wholesome romances

    Susan Wiggs- Historicals and contemps

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips- humor and romance

    Shel Silversteen -beautiful poems & The Giving Tree

    Susan Polis Schultz- Poetry and art

    Karen Robards- Historicals, thrillers and contemps

    CS Lewis -Narnia series

    EB White- Charlotte’s Web, Louis the Trumpeter Swan & Stuart Little

    So many authors I’m forgetting…..

  16. Hi Farmwife, I had some issues yesterday and didn’t all my replies up. Thanks for posting. I too love historicals that seduce me into learning more! Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Hi Mary J. You make me laugh. Cruel lol. I found Outlanders free for my kindle. Now gotta find time to re read. Thanks for the nice words, I so appreciate you.

  18. Hi Laurie, you just listed about a jillion more I love. I’ve got an Anne of Green Gables doll my mom brought me from PEI and she sits near my copy of the book. And CSLewis…great stuff there. Thanks for such a long, thoughtful list!

  19. Have to agree with your list. I have books by most of these authors on either my keeper shelf or my TBR pile. Like you I have many, many more I enjoy, including all the fillies and most of the guests that have appeared here. I will add one name in particular, Julie Garwood. Her historical romances were the very first romances I ever read and open the door to a group of books I have thoroughly enjoyed. I am sorry she has shifted to contemporary romantic suspense, but I enjoy them too. I’d just like her to write more historicals.
    THE WOLF AND THE DOVE was my second or third Woodiwiss book and one of my all time favorite romances. A throwback to the old style, but still a gripping story.

    Another author I just thought of is Elizabeth Stuart. She wrote only 4 historical romances before taking time off to raise her family. It seems she never came back. Her books are really good. The first one I read, BRIDE OF THE LION, would translate into a movie that both men and women would enjoy. Wonderful characters and situations that don’t fit the normal romance mold.

  20. My favorite author depends partly on my mood. There are numerous authors who are always there. I thought Anya Seton’s THE WINTHROP WOMAN was her best book. You’ll love KILLING LINCOLN. I read it last month for my book club and found out several new things about him. Congrats on your new YA as well as another western contemporary.

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