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!