Tip of the Day: This week at A2A, we're discussing our favorite authors, which is one of our absolute favorite topics of conversation. C'mon in and pull up a comment!
I have a favorite author. It's so difficult to pull one name off the list of authors I love, but here, watch me, I'm doing it. The name is Terry Pratchett. I have read every one of his many books, and when a new one comes out, I must stop everything--everything--to read it. The kids will not eat. (Bonus tip: it's a great idea to pick up snacks and make them accessible for occasions in life like a new Pratchett novel, so when the kids whine that they're starving, you can grunt and wave your hand in the general direction of the kitchen without your eyes leaving the page.)
Pratchett recently finished off his two YA trilogies, the Johnny Maxwell trilogy (absolutely awesome) and the Tiffany Aching trilogy (hysterically funny), and I await his next novel with great anticipation, as it takes place on a deserted island and promises to be something new. Nation comes out in September and I must get it immediately, if not sooner. Isn't that a wonderful feeling, having a great new book to look forward to? And graphic novel versions of two of his earlier novels have just been released, and I must have them right now. There are a lot of writers whose work I thoroughly enjoy, but very few of them instill this sense of manic possessiveness in me. And don't we all dream of writing books that make people covet them and read them again and again? He's one of the very few authors I reread regularly.
Libba Bray is another favorite of mine. I wait for her next novel with that sense of "I must have this book now!" Because whatever she writes, I know it's gonna rock awesome. I had the chance to hear her speak in Rochester NY at our annual Teen Book Festival, so I know that her next two novels will be contemporaries, and then she wants to do a post-WWI series. Oh, man, doesn't that sound great? I need those books.
What both these authors have in common that I love in their writing is a willingness to take risks. They both develop worlds that are hard to explain to the non-converted. Discworld floats on the back of a turtle through space? Gemma Doyle leaves her Victorian boarding school through a magic door to enter a dimension populated by demons and her dead mother? Yes! Take risks and build new worlds! Do something completely different! That must've been hard at first, incredibly hard to keep the faith that someone, somewhere, would read it and love it.
When I saw Libba Bray, I wrote down this from her conversation with her readers: "Just keep working. Revision will work." I need to post that somewhere I can see it every day. It certainly worked for her and I can't wait until her new novel comes out.
Who's on your short list of writers whose new books you must have, no matter what they're about, and woe to the person (or hungry kid) who gets between you and that story?
-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Writer