Last week my Authors I Love post included authors who are close to me discussing who THEY love! This week I have another treat: MORE Authors talking about the authors and books they love. I’m really enjoying reading these guest posts and hope to have more for you in the future. If you’d also like to contribute, feel free to send your words to me anytime 😀
Jessica Fortunato is the author of The Sin Collector, the first book of a trilogy. The mythology Fortunato creates is refreshing and unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else. Aside from writing the next installment of The Sin Collector trilogy, Jess is a witty and sarcastic Twitterer.
There are many authors whose work I love and admire. However, there is one I adore, best-selling author Alice Hoffman. My Grandma, who owned a treasure trove of books, introduced me to the magic of Hoffman in the novel The Ice Queen. I found myself immediately entranced by the story of a woman who had lost so much that her heart had turned to ice within her chest. Soon she meets a man, a survivor of a lightning strike. He burns with passion. Their love story is beautiful and inevitably tragic. From that book on, I was in love with every word she wrote. I owned every book and I felt the truly magical experience that occurs when your eyes can’t read fast enough. When with every turn of the page, you feel the delightful ache to have every bit of the mesmerizing story envelop all of your senses. To feel as if you are brushing against the wisteria, to swear you can smell the blue roses.
Hoffman has a gift. It cannot be denied by anyone who has read one of her many novels. She weaves the stories of lovers, mothers, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, and even enemies together in perfect harmony. Adding simple dashes of magical lore, and charming superstition, hers are not books that are easily forgotten. Her stories can span generations. Among her advice to place salt in the corners of rooms to keep demons at bay, and to plant rosemary by your garden gate for luck, she writes very real tales. Sometimes the hero is the most damaged person in the story. Sometimes love isn’t enough to keep your betrothed alive. Towers fall, no matter how hard to try to stop them.
Life doesn’t always have a happy ending. Yet within her stories, you are never left feeling anything but fulfilled and full of wonder. That is real life after all. You strive for the fairytale, and sometimes you only get to keep it for a short while. In Hoffman’s world, ‘Happily Ever After’ is only ever the beginning.
What can I say about S.M. Boyce? I can say a whole lot about her. To be honest I can probably write an Authors I Love post just on her and her writing…but that’s for another day. Boyce took the world by storm with Lichgates, book one of The Grimoire Trilogy. Boyce paints one of the most beautiful worlds I’ve ever read about, called Ourea. But it’s just as dangerous as it is beautiful. S.M. Boyce can also be found giving away amazing book swag VERY often over on her twitter and various other give aways. She’s sure to brighten up you day, any day!
Neil Gaiman: Gaiman’s work has become a staple in the urban fantasy genre for his fluid style and realistic characters. He has always been one for a twist ending, and he rarely disappoints. I always enjoy reading his novels, particularly Neverwhere.
J. R. R. Tolkien: Tolkien is, quite arguably, the father of modern fantasy. He revived an all-but-dead genre with his work in The Hobbit and the wildly successful Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s hard to find an epic fantasy fan that isn’t also a fan of Tolkien.
As a child, I had difficulties learning how to read, but once I finally caught on, nothing could stop me. I devoured books by the dozen, but there were a few authors who always kept me warm at night. I remember the first novel I fell head over heals in love with was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Even at ten years old, something about it struck a chord in me. This would be the second novel I memorized by heart, the first being a Berenstain Bears book when I was six.
For some reason, I developed a taste for horror and I still have my Christopher Pike collection hidden on my bookshelves. It didn’t take long for me to graduate to Stephen King, though. To this day, whenever I need a dose of horror, I turn to the Master himself and am never disappointed.
Many authors helped pave the path to words for me, but none more-so than John Irving. There is a tenderness to Irving’s words that renders me speechless. The flaws in his characters and simple truth behind the stories he weaves always impresses me. He is a writer I both respect, look up to, and take my cue from.
I admit it has been a long time since I’ve curled up with one of Mr. Irving’s books, though. These days I keep company with John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and Oscar Wilde—the more tortured, cynical writers. But, whenever I need a pick me up, a smile, I always return to A Prayer for Owen Meany and remember exactly how I felt the first time I read these lines:
“Your memory is a monster; you forget – it doesn’t. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you – and summons them to your recall with will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!”
My memory is a monster. And I will always remember that my passion for writing, for words, first came from my passion for reading.
I am a storyteller, but more so, I am a story-lover.