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selkn.asrai
10-01-2008, 07:28 AM
I don't necessarily mean that your admiration comes from the prose or writing technique of your chosen author (though obviously, not excluding it! Let's say "in additional to.") But perhaps you admire his/her attitude, eloquence, or method of working... or what have you. :)

Who's your writer?

Sean D. Schaffer
10-01-2008, 07:53 AM
I have several.


Robert Louis Stevenson -- Author of Treasure Island. I read this book a long time ago, and back then I admired his writing so much I tried to emulate how he constructed his works.

A.E. van Vogt -- Author of Slan, The World of Null A, and co-author of Slan Hunter. I read all these books, and I simply love reading his action-packed way of doing things. One of his contemporaries referred to his style as "One-Damn-Thing-After-Another," and it's that style that keeps me turning the pages of his books.

J. Michael Straczynski -- Creator of Babylon 5, one of my all-time favorite SF television programs. His sense of reality, of incorporating ordinary, every-day people into a futuristic world of alien technologies -- characters I can identify with -- has made at least B5 (I can't speak for any of his other stuff; I've not seen or read it) one of the most realistic series I've ever watched ... and one of the most interesting.

Jane Yolen -- Author of Dragon's Blood, Heart's Blood, and A Sending Of Dragons. This author's vivid portrayal of an arid world called Austar IV, and its rough-and-tumble society, combined with loads of surprises and plot twists, was really one of the main reasons I started getting into works that incorporated dragons. In fact, one of the scenes in Dragon's Blood gave rise to my first short story dealing with a character in my old PA novel, and the world in which he lived, lives on in my mind, constantly vying for attention in my quickly-rejuvenating imagination.

Anne McCaffrey -- Author of The Dragonriders of Pern series, and The Harper Hall of Pern series. These early books of the planet Pern, along with some of her older short stories, have inspired me immensely in my own writing. Like Stevenson, van Vogt, Straczynski, and Yolen, Anne McCaffrey shaped a lot of how I viewed story-telling and how it should be done. Having read her Pern books up to Dragonsdawn, I have found a bright world filled with believable characters and, though there was a presence of an all-powerful evil (the Red Star, and the resulting Thread that constantly threatened their society) there was really no sense of Good Versus Evil among the characters. This impresses me, even to this day. I've always valued interesting and/or realistic characters, and hers are most certainly both.


So these are the several authors I really admire more than just about any others. I'm sure, if I gave more thought to the subject, I could probably come up with a couple -- if not a few -- more that are worthy, in my own opinion, of mention here. But for right now, the five I've already listed are plenty.

:)

Danger Jane
10-01-2008, 08:13 AM
Virginia Woolf :D of course. How could I NOT admire her eloquence? Course I don't envy her mental problems. But her writing is absolutely beautiful and profound, and I can only dream of reaching such heights.

JeanneTGC
10-01-2008, 09:05 AM
Louis L'Amour.

Because he had between 350 to 400 rejections before he sold ONE THING.

And he kept on writing and submitting and now everyone knows his name and his books.

Red-Green
10-01-2008, 05:30 PM
I'll ditto Virginia Woolf. I don't approve of how she wrote the last chapter, but I admire many other aspects of her life and writing.

Oh, and Ursula K. LeGuin. I admire her both as a writer and as a person. Her article in Harper's a few months back was great.

mscelina
10-01-2008, 05:32 PM
Piers Anthony, because he made smartass into a subgenre and found his own path through the industry.

Toothpaste
10-01-2008, 05:37 PM
See I'm going to make everyone roll their eyes now, but hear me out.

JK Rowling.

Now I am not saying she is the best author in the world, when it comes to writing styles Douglas Adams is my patron saint, I worship at his feet.

But I admire so completely how JK Rowling has handled herself in the subsequent years of Harry madness. The way she has handled herself in the media, the way she is able to keep her family sane and normal. The way she speaks in the few interviews she gives. And especially the way she interacts with her fans. Truly admirable. If there was ever an author to emulate (should any of us be one tenth that successful), it's her.

CaroGirl
10-01-2008, 05:44 PM
Miriam Toews. I admire the quirky humour in her highly eloquent prose and I admire the quiet life she lives while still finding time to connect with readers in person. She gives time to writing organizations, through speeches and workshops, not just to promote herself, but to help fellow writers, especially new and aspiring writers. I want to be Miriam Toews.

willietheshakes
10-01-2008, 05:47 PM
Miriam Toewes. I admire the quirky humour in her highly eloquent prose and I admire the quiet life she lives while still finding time to connect with readers in person. She gives time to writing organizations, through speeches and workshops, not just to promote herself, but to help fellow writers, especially new and aspiring writers. I want to be Miriam Toewes.

*cough*Toews*cough*

:)

CaroGirl
10-01-2008, 05:49 PM
*cough*Toews*cough*

:)
What?

thanks

vixey
10-01-2008, 05:51 PM
See I'm going to make everyone role their eyes now, but hear me out.

JK Rowling.

But I admire so completely how JK Rowling has handled herself in the subsequent years of Harry madness. The way she has handled herself in the media, the way she is able to keep her family sane and normal. The way she speaks in the few interviews she gives. And especially the way she interacts with her fans. Truly admirable. If there was ever an author to emulate (should any of us be one tenth that successful), it's her.

*eyeballs settle back in head* ;)

A very good point about JKR, Toothpaste, and definitely worth mentioning here.

As for authors I admire -

Sue Monk Kidd who's not afraid to put her faith out there. And she's not afraid to push the edge in spite of her faith. She's very comfortable with what she writes and with who she is.

Anita Shreve whose writing style I aspire to emulate, but I've learned it's not my voice. Still, I love her lyrical prose.

Thomas Hardy because his were the first books I couldn't put down and discovered it was worth while to seek out every book an author has written.

Daphne du Maurier because life isn't about happy endings and she made paranormal seem plausible (The House on the Strand).

Diana Gabaldon for transporting me to 18th century Scotland (and kilts!).

Oohh - I'll have to keep thinking about this . . .

willietheshakes
10-01-2008, 05:53 PM
What?

thanks

Nothin' - must have been my imagination.

FTR, I do like Miriam Toews, as both a writer and a person, but I had some problems with the new book... Sadly, it was one of those cases where I ended up having those problems in public.

Shadow_Ferret
10-01-2008, 05:58 PM
Walter Gibson -- Wrote 282 pulp novels about The Shadow. Wrote 100 non-fiction books on stage magic and pychic phenomenon. I admire how prolific he was. Especially considering I haven't published even one.

CaroGirl
10-01-2008, 06:01 PM
Nothin' - must have been my imagination.

FTR, I do like Miriam Toews, as both a writer and a person, but I had some problems with the new book... Sadly, it was one of those cases where I ended up having those problems in public.
Really? I haven't read it yet but it got a good review in Quill & Quire.

willietheshakes
10-01-2008, 06:02 PM
Really? I haven't read it yet but it got a good review in Quill & Quire.

Not such a good review in the Post...

CaroGirl
10-01-2008, 06:12 PM
Not such a good review in the Post...
Ah. I didn't see that one. I knew you didn't write the one in Q&Q because you didn't have review in that issue. You didn't write the one in the Citizen either, I don't think. I don't get the Post. Too many newspapers, too little time.

At least you spelled her name right...

jennontheisland
10-01-2008, 06:28 PM
Jack Whyte. His prose feels so level and sedate, but it carries the arc of the story so well. Brilliantly fussy about historical accuracy. His plots are huge, but it's the characters that pull the reader through.

Bernard Corwell. I want to write battles like that.

Bertrice Small. Revolutionized the historical romance novel. The detail, the characters, the sex! Vive le Manroot!

Clive Barker. I think if I got to spent a moment in his head I would either die of terror or never want to leave. If I even come close to creating the visions he does, I will be satisfied.

Vandal
10-01-2008, 06:49 PM
Michael Crichton

His research is second to none. I feel like an expert after reading one of his.

willietheshakes
10-01-2008, 07:28 PM
Ah. I didn't see that one. I knew you didn't write the one in Q&Q because you didn't have review in that issue. You didn't write the one in the Citizen either, I don't think. I don't get the Post. Too many newspapers, too little time.

At least you spelled her name right...

Nah, I did the one in the Post (http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=843879)...

selkn.asrai
10-01-2008, 07:51 PM
Jenn, would you recommend any of Cornwell's series in particular? His are some of the books I always look at and think, "I really should read that," but never get to it. I really admire how many eras he approaches in his work; I hope that I could write across so wide a span.

For me: Fitzgerald astounds me; his level of editing and perception, the beautiful structure of his work, his word choice. I admire Charles Frazier for the sheer breadth of Cold Mountain, and his disarming humility in regard to his his work. Ian McEwan's work struck me as a symphony worthy of so much envy (for me, reading Atonement was like entering a cathedral), and his intelligence and attention to the minutiae of the craft is impressive. These authors' characters are so complex and palpable to me, and they have such unbridled talent.

I'm reading Christopher Rush's Will right now, and while the jury's still out on the story itself (as I've yet to finish it!) I can't help but admire a man who studied Shakespeare for thirty years and paid such deference to his subject--and yet made him human. To pare the myth until only that celebrated human remains--that's a feat to me.

Dara
10-01-2008, 07:53 PM
Hmmm...I'm a fan of Robin Hobb and Juliet Marillier as far as writing goes, but I don't know a thing about their personal lives, so I can't really say whether they're admirable or not. I did admire Robert Jordan for writing notes on his final WOT book clear up to his death. That's dedication. If I had a serious illness I'd probably just lie around and relax instead of trying to finish my work.

CaroGirl
10-01-2008, 07:57 PM
Nah, I did the one in the Post (http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=843879)...
Oh, thanks! I searched for your review and couldn't find it. I would hardly call it a "bad" review, certainly not "scathing". It's honest. I must reserve judgement on the subject of the review because I haven't read the book. I will, though.

I'm a bad Canadian anyway. I just read a Gowdy I didn't like <gasp!>. Helpless just didn't do it for me.

Deccydiva
10-01-2008, 07:57 PM
Dick Francis. The earlier novels, when he actually wrote them himself according to rumour and allegation. Brilliant plots and perfect research, as far as I can see when he involves some of my expert topics.

jennontheisland
10-01-2008, 08:27 PM
Jenn, would you recommend any of Cornwell's series in particular? His are some of the books I always look at and think, "I really should read that," but never get to it. I really admire how many eras he approaches in his work; I hope that I could write across so wide a span.

I've read the Grail Quest series and his Arthur books. I know his Sharpe series is very popular, both books and tv shows, but it's the early battles that I love. Swords and sheilds and whatnot. And he has a fabulous way of subltly incorporating a romantic subplot. The Arthur books are my fave so far.

redpbass
10-01-2008, 08:27 PM
I'll go with Jeanne and say Louis L'amour. For sheer volume of enjoyable stories and re-readability.

willietheshakes
10-01-2008, 08:27 PM
Oh, thanks! I searched for your review and couldn't find it. I would hardly call it a "bad" review, certainly not "scathing". It's honest. I must reserve judgement on the subject of the review because I haven't read the book. I will, though.

I'm a bad Canadian anyway. I just read a Gowdy I didn't like <gasp!>. Helpless just didn't do it for me.

Ahem (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=f4ba673d-2886-461e-9071-ffbdb4ecb773&p=1)...

CaroGirl
10-01-2008, 08:34 PM
Ahem (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=f4ba673d-2886-461e-9071-ffbdb4ecb773&p=1)...
;)

Phaeal
10-01-2008, 10:36 PM
Jane Austen, because she's awesome.

Anthony Trollope, because he wrote every day, then went fox hunting, then ran the British post office.

Ayn Rand, for being the Wagner of literature -- you either love her or hate her, but either way, you might not want to have lunch with her.

Stephen King, for his generosity to other writers and for knowing what really scares us.

Neil Gaiman, for being so damn funny.

Mark Twain, for seeing the best and worst in America, and for being so damn funny.

Herman Melville, for the whiteness of the whale.

JRR Tolkien, for giving us a new world.

Ray Bradbury, for his unflagging exuberance, for Mars, for deadly carnivals, and for a fireman on the run.

H P Lovecraft, for seeing the dark side of the universe and, slyly, making us fall in love with it.

Susanna Clarke, for the utter beauty of her imagination and prose.

I'll take a break now...

tehuti88
10-01-2008, 11:28 PM
I admire Basil Johnston for keeping the myths and stories of his people (Ojibwa) alive, and for making them come alive for outsiders like myself. I recall how confused I was by this belief system when I started looking into it, and how one of his books immediately helped clarify things in such a way that I started writing about them myself, utterly fascinated.

I know it's cheesy and lame but in a way I wish I could help keep these stories and characters alive through my own work, though I don't see how I can seeing as people don't really read it much, so I'm rather embarrassed to try holding myself up to such a standard. (I'm not even Ojibwa, to boot.) One of the reasons I keep writing is because I hope somebody sees the characters I write about and is interested enough to learn about this culture for themselves, the way Johnston's work interested me in learning more.

Claudia Gray
10-01-2008, 11:37 PM
I will third the vote for JK Rowling just in terms of staying sane when most people would've gone fame-mad logn ago.

Anthony Trollope, for sheer discipline and a sly, modern sense of humor.

Ageless Stranger
10-01-2008, 11:39 PM
Alan Moore. He made a career from his talent and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, despite the numerous disadvantages he had (grew up in poor area, expelled from school, banned from more or less any college/school he wanted, forced to work several crap jobs in succession). Not only does he constantly try to out do himself, and move beyond the work of those before him, he pays homage to it. He loves words, and knows just how powerful they can be. He respects the craft and appreciates how unappreciated writers are these days, how much they're looked down upon, despite the fact that books have been around for much longer than T.V or the internet. He's generous, polite as hell, humourous, and to top it off, he's a literal wizard. Daily, he inspires me to write and not to fear doing something different, to test my limits. Alan Moore is one of the masters of our age, and the greatest living writer currently at work. Only Michael Moorcock and Neil Gaiman come close.

DeleyanLee
10-01-2008, 11:48 PM
Nora Roberts because she's a first class lady and highly professional, no matter the situation. Even when she's b****-slapping someone who truly deserves it, she's a classy lady. I admire that tremendously.

Stephen King because he was still a normal guy who could take a walk around his neighborhood without fuss, and because he was smart enough to buy the van that hit him.

Dean Koontz for always saving the dog in his books, his love of Trixie, (Search Amazon for Trixie Koontz if you're curious) and his generosity to pet charities on her behalf.

The late great Taylor Caldwell for personal and literary inspiration. She is my prime example of just letting the story shine through.

The late Robert Lynn Aspirin for countless demonstrations of turning real life into stories and the challenges of leading a creative life.

Any published author who posts and answers questions on forums like this, for obvious reasons.

jessicaorr
10-02-2008, 12:01 AM
Hmmm... A few that spring to mind are

Margaret Atwood
Bill Bryson
Neil Gaiman
David James Duncan
Douglas Adams
Voltaire

Barber
10-02-2008, 12:02 AM
Will I be banned if I say RL Stine? LOL, seriously, growing up with those books impacted my entire life! Ahh, memories.

I also loved Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

Nowadays I like James Patterson.

I have to ask though; why do people always put down JK Rowling's writing style? I read all the Harry Potter books and didn't see a problem. I also find it weird people dog her style when she inspired MILLIONS of people to read these MASSIVE books. Wouldn't that mean she has a GREAT style? A style we can all get into?

Mr Flibble
10-02-2008, 12:07 AM
ooh so many!

Pratchett, for making me laugh so hard.
Cherryh, for just the right mix of SFF and romance that makes me go all gooey.
Stephen King, for his unforgettable characters and for helping to bring horror out into the light.
F Scott Fitzgerald, just because.
And Tolkien, for making me love fantasy.

Ms Hollands
10-02-2008, 12:21 AM
Joseph Conrad...Kate Chopin...Rudyard Kipling...CS Lewis (before the movies started)...and whoever wrote The Yellow Wallpaper.

blacbird
10-02-2008, 12:27 AM
Kurt Vonnegut, in part because I had the privilege of meeting him in a small discussion group many years ago, but more because his wit and clarity of writing speaks to me.

caw

Ms Hollands
10-02-2008, 12:40 AM
It was Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Mr. Anonymous
10-02-2008, 12:44 AM
John Steinbeck for his writing style and profoundly moving works.

Emile Zola, who was not just a great writer, but a great human being who stood up against the prejudices of his time.

Ken
10-02-2008, 12:47 AM
Father Fyodor and Papa Gogol :-)

IceCreamEmpress
10-02-2008, 01:03 AM
I'm torn, because many of the writers whom I admire as public citizens (Sinclair Lewis, Tolstoi, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emerson, George Sand, Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer) are not my favorite writers, and many of my favorite writers (Jane Austen, Dawn Powell, Percival Everett, Flann O'Brien/Myles na gCopaleen, James Joyce, Proust) weren't or aren't particularly active public citizens.

But Zola, and George Eliot, and Kenzaburo Oe are all high on my list in both aspects. So I guess they have the largest sum total of my admiration.

Virector
10-02-2008, 01:12 AM
See I'm going to make everyone role their eyes now, but hear me out.

JK Rowling.

Now I am not saying she is the best author in the world, when it comes to writing styles Douglas Adams is my patron saint, I worship at his feet.

But I admire so completely how JK Rowling has handled herself in the subsequent years of Harry madness. The way she has handled herself in the media, the way she is able to keep her family sane and normal. The way she speaks in the few interviews she gives. And especially the way she interacts with her fans. Truly admirable. If there was ever an author to emulate (should any of us be one tenth that successful), it's her.

I agree.:e2bouncey

C.M. Daniels
10-02-2008, 01:15 AM
Joan D. Vinge. She's the reason I'm a writer and an anthropologist. Her style and characters are amazing.

Sean D. Schaffer
10-02-2008, 03:03 AM
JRR Tolkien, for giving us a new world.




How on Earth could I have forgotten Tolkein? I must really be losing it!


More authors I admire include:

C.S. Lewis -- The Chronicles of Narnia
H.G. Wells -- The War of the Worlds
Jules Verne -- 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
George Orwell -- Animal Farm
Piers Anthony -- The Xanth books
Gordon R. Dickson -- The Dragon and the George, and all the books of The Dragon Knight series

scheherazade
10-02-2008, 06:46 AM
Stephen King. I can't say I truly desire to sell THAT many books (and all the crap that comes with that), but he's probably my best writerly role model. I'm not into the standard pretend-to-be-a-writer standards of beret-wearing, Starbucks-writing, Kerouac-aspiring literary pretense. When I try to Act Like A Writer, I think what would King do? Usually this means sit down and write. Tell a good story. And at the end of the day still be comfortable being a normal person.

CaroGirl
10-02-2008, 07:27 PM
Since I began writing a MG novel, I have a sudden desire to be Judy Blume. My daughter has just discovered Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and is loving it. I have great admiration for a novelist who, uncompromisingly, has influenced generations of young readers. She also speaks out against censorship. Rock on, Judy.

I will also cite my undying admiration for the beloved children's storyteller, Roald Dahl.

JoeEkaitis
10-02-2008, 07:39 PM
The ease with which authors like Kenneth Grahame, Frank Stockton and E. B. White create believable anthropomorphic characters.

(Yeah, I know I'm a dinosaur.)

AnneAtWordHustler
10-03-2008, 12:52 AM
I'm with Toothpaste, ClaudiaGray, Virector and the many others who said JK Rowling. She never gave up...and is now richer than the Queen. :)

Also: Anne Lamott. Anyone familiar with her? Talk about overcoming some personal adversity to be one of the most interesting, complex memoir-writers out there....

Ol' 61
10-05-2008, 04:49 AM
I will echo the JK Rowling sentiments. I admire her because she sucked me into the world she created and told a great story. In the end, I think it's the story that remains. And what a classy, classy lady. I can only hope to have that much class in any aspect of my life. Rock on, Jo!

In 1971, when I was in the 4th grade, I read all of the Little House Books. Laura Ingalls Wilder remains one of my favorite people all the way around. To this day when I read one of her books, I feel like I am right there and in the moment with her. What I find remarkable about her stories is her explanations of how basic household chores were done when she was a girl. When I read Little House in the Big Woods to my kids and went through the whole chapter about doing the wash and storing meat for the winter, it made me incredibly appreciative that I don't have to work so hard. These stories are timeless.

So many others! Mark Twain for being who he was; Sandra Dallas for unforgettable characters; EB White for Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

selkn.asrai
10-05-2008, 06:31 AM
EB White for Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

Don't forget Elements of Style (albeit a revision of the original)! :) Surely a classic, and invaluable to writers.

Phoebe H
10-05-2008, 11:25 AM
Joan D. Vinge. She's the reason I'm a writer and an anthropologist. Her style and characters are amazing.

This was true for me, too. Her anthropology background was one of the main things that convinced me that linguistics would be a good direction for me to go in, if I wanted to write. (Tolkien, too, of course, but he is just so far out there he didn't make following that path seem *possible*.)

Later, I had the great good fortune of having her as one of my Clarion West instructors. Which convinced me that if I could pick anyone in the universe to be my mom, that I would pick her. She is that cool.

maxmordon
10-05-2008, 11:27 AM
Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and Terry Pratchett

Phoebe H
10-05-2008, 11:31 AM
No one else has mentioned Roger Zelazny. He has this knack of doing the impossible, while making it look easy. All in half the words you would think.

darrtwish
10-05-2008, 07:32 PM
Stephenie Meyer, hands down. I look up to her in every way, especially her writing.

MrWrite
10-05-2008, 08:11 PM
Dean Koontz is one of my favourite writers. I love his writing style and he always comes up with great characters that you really get to care about.
I love reading Louis L'Amour for his gritty and exciting westerns.

Jenan Mac
10-06-2008, 07:48 AM
Terry Pratchett and Carl Hiaasen, because they're writers of novels for adults who also write for children and don't talk down to them.
Charlaine Harris, Diana Gabaldon, and Sharyn McCrumb, for making me actually buy hardbacks the minute they came out.
And Nora Roberts and Sherrilyn Kenyon, for pure predictable escapism. When Mr. Mac was laid off, when I was pregnant and hospitalized, when I was in school and my brain was fried, these ladies were my salvation.

fullbookjacket
10-07-2008, 04:05 AM
H.G. Wells...forget Jules Verne; Wells essentially invented science fiction as we know it. More than that, he wrote his novels to explore his ideas about the serious flaws of the human race. The War of the Worlds, for example, was not just an adventure yarn with some gripping scenes; it was also Wells' response to the British Empire for its genocide in Tasmania. All writers should read Wells' early novels for the sheer economy of words.

Ernest Hemingway...this guy could make you think you're reading a tale about fishing or hunting when he's really talking about sexual inadequacy, jealousy, greed. The dark side of man and woman.

Mark Twain...this guy will have a shelf-life like Shakespeare. His writing still crackles with wit and he was never one to shy away from thumping the ear of those in power.

Kurt Vonnegut...the Mark Twain of the 2oth century. The Sirens of Titan and Slaughterhouse-Five remain two of my all-time favorites. If for nothing else, he deserves a Nobel for his characters' names, like Malachi Constant and Billy Pilgrim.

Phaeal
10-07-2008, 05:33 PM
Yes, H. G. Wells, too. His characters are gloriously human, flawed and absurd and deeply sympathetic. His imagination is both expansive and minute -- I will never forget that forlorn flopping creature on the blood-red shore of a dying world in The Time Machine, or the perambulatory percolations of Dr. Cavor in The First Men in the Moon. From the despair of The Island of Dr. Moreau to man as clown and man as creator, giant, meeting in perfect harmony in The Food of the Gods. In so many ways, the father of science fiction remains its most powerful voice.

Ken
10-07-2008, 05:48 PM
Sartre was pretty cool, too.
He wrote philosophy books and also novels.
Takes a lot of ability to be able to write fiction and non-fiction.
Not many can. Guess the only way to find out is to try.
Worse that can happen is you fail...which is pretty demoralizing actually.
So perhaps it's better to just stick to the genre you're good at, rather than trying to branch out.

JimmyB27
10-07-2008, 07:26 PM
Douglas Adams, for his wit and intelligence. He was a sharp observer of human behaviour.
Frank Herbert and Tolkien for their ability to immerse the reader in a new world.
But most of all, I think, Terry Pratchett. For the way he makes me laugh. For the way he understands the human mind so well, and creates such deep, real characters. For the way - as someone mentioned - his children's books aren't all that much different to the adult ones, except for the fact that the protagonist is a child. Yay for not talking down to kids.
And, seriously, who else would still be able to raise a chuckle on learning that they have Alzheimer's?

When writer Terry Pratchett was told he had Alzheimer's disease, his first thought was "that's a bit of a bugger". That, and "I hope they hurry up and find a cure quick."

But life as an in-demand public figure posed specific problems when it came to diagnosing his condition.
"The basic test, for example, will ask you questions like what day of the week is it, what is the date? I have a PA so there are really only two types of day - is my PA in or is my PA out? What day of the week is it? Well if he's not here then it's probably the weekend."
And as a writer of fantasy fiction, and therefore a keen observer of the outlandish, this further complicated matters for those seeking to make a diagnosis.
"One of the questions was how many animals can you name.
"And I said 'let me think... There's the rock hyrax which is the closest living relative to the elephant, and then there's the thylocene which is the possibly extinct Tasmanian werewolf. How many more would you like me to name?'"

ABekah
10-08-2008, 12:05 AM
Okay, my reading and interests are all over the place. This list is in no particular order.

John Bunyan for presenting the Christian journey via such an engaging and beautiful portrait.

Charlotte Bronte for somehow managing to trump Jane Austen in opening a world of yesteryear into something that fascinates me. I like Jane, too, but the Bronte sisters don't get enough credit.

Mark Z. Danielewski for writing House of Leaves and getting it published. Basically, I want to say, 'why didn't I think of that?'

Ted Dekker for creating an entire culture around his Christian themed science fiction thrillers, and for managing to do crossover fiction really well. His imagination must keep him awake at night.

Perri O'Shaughnessy for being two witty sisters that have collaborated and created one of my favorite escapist mystery fiction heroines: Nina Reilly

mrockwell
10-11-2008, 05:26 AM
Guy Gavriel Kay. He's who I want to be as a writer when I grow up. ;)

Also, some that haven't been mentioned: Frank L. Baum, Robert E. Howard, Marion Zimmer Bradley (published my first short story ever) and Fritz Leiber. All had profound impact on me as a young reader, and undoubtedly influenced me to become a writer myself.

-- Marcy

Chrisla
10-11-2008, 11:57 AM
Diane Gabaldon for her ability to breathe life into characters while giving me a history lesson. George R.R. Martin for his ability to handle a large cast in his epic Song of Ice and Fire series. David Baldacci for creating credible suspense. Michael Connelly for Harry Bosch, perhaps the most complex detective ever created. Irving Stone for research (I think of his depiction of Michelangelo's life in The Agony and the Ecstasy, everytime I see photos of the Sistine Chapel, the David, or the Pieta.) Larry McMurty for his unromanticized stories of the early western frontier, and Louis L'Amour because he knew the west he wrote about.

EriRae
10-11-2008, 02:23 PM
Michael Chabon. His short stories give me hope, and his novels are just beautiful.

John Irving. I would pay for the Iowa Writer's Workshop, if they could promise I would end up like him. Plus, there's that pesky admission selection thing . . .

Laurell K. Hamilton. Two series, two worlds, awesome characters.

Stephen King. The reason I wanted to be a writer when I grow up, and On Writing is the reason I finished my first novel, which is more than a touch horror.

ETA: JJ Cooper. Because he trusted me to help. :D And chided me for not including him.

Kateri
10-11-2008, 03:42 PM
Toni Morrison for her honesty and bravery. Charles Frazier for telling a story where you feel like you can smell the woods and feel the cold. Noah Gordon for The Shaman, I was lost in that world for a couple of days. Thomas Moore for his gentle reminders about what really matters, Mark Twain for his ability to see through facades and make me laugh. So many more...is being euphoric in Libraries a crime? (I go a bit crazy and the library woman shelters behind the brochures on sustainable living.)

Robert Frost, (Oh My God that man!) so I have to mention him even though he is a poet. Anais Nin, John O'Donohue for Anam Cara. James Hillman, and being an Aussie, Tim Winton and Nevil Shute. The beautiful children's book Skellig, written by David Almond, is worthy of any attention.

scope
10-12-2008, 01:57 AM
I would like to toss in David McCullough -- for history buffs.

TrickyFiction
10-12-2008, 04:35 AM
Victor Hugo- for trying to change the world.
Gaston Leroux- for being a crazy go-everywhere, do-everything guy and using it to write amazing stories.
Edgar Allan Poe- for "Eureka," a beautiful way to see the world.
Douglas Adams- for being Douglas Adams.
Terry Pratchett- for his humor and, more recently, the elegant way he's handling his diagnosis.
Neil Gaiman- for his unbelievable way with words, his animated storytelling, and for being a genuinely cool cat.
JK Rowling- for making reading cool again.

I'm sure I'll think of more after I post this, too. These are just the first that come to mind.

Edit: You know what, I have to add Yukio Mishima because even though he was absolutely nuts, he was also incredibly brave.
And Mary Shelley, for outdoing all the boys.

donroc
10-12-2008, 04:48 AM
So many to list.

Sabatini, Lovecraft, Poe, Costain, Shellabarger, Singer, Kazantzakis, Hammett, Barnaby Conrad, Irwin Shaw, Wouk, Scott, Doyle ....