Friday, March 23, 2007

Author, Author

by Rebecca Drake

The talented Jodi Picoult was in town last night to sign books and I joined 100+ other fans to hear her read from her latest book, Nineteen Minutes, and listen to her talk about the writing process, life on tour, and her interests in a multitude of subjects including the paranormal.

I admire her writing because she’s always grappling with subjects that are emotional, often divisive and always compelling. She obviously enjoys doing thorough research for her novels and she told interesting stories about the different ways this happens, from interviewing a survivor of a school shooting to joining a group of ghost busters on a professional expedition.

So here she was, the bestselling author on tour, keeping a packed audience of fans entertained for at least an hour, and then someone asked, “Who’s your favorite author?”

Without a moment’s hesitation she said, “Alice Hoffman,” and switching into fan mode she added, “And I got to meet her recently!”

I was struck by how quick she was to name the author and how utterly enraptured she obviously was with Alice Hoffman’s work and then I wondered at Jodi Picoult’s ability to limit the answer to only one author.

I couldn’t do it. I can’t single out one favorite author, but then I’m the sort of person who as a kid was utterly enraptured by the 31 Flavors of ice cream to choose on any one trip to Baskin-Robbins. No vanilla cones for me. No repeat cones. No single favorite flavor—I wanted to try them all.

However, at any given time, there’s always a least a triple-scoop cone’s worth of favorites. So here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite authors:

Ruth Rendell
Michael Chabon
Jane Smiley
Robert Harris
Elizabeth George
And, of course, Jodi Picoult

So who are yours? Can you name just one?


Annette said...

How about two? Laura Lippman and Lisa Scottoline.

I admit I have not read any of Jodi Picoult yet, but hers is a name that has come up mulitple times in resent months as if the universe is thumping me on the head that I should give her work a try. With your rave review, I'm convinced. She's now on my to-be-purchased list.

Tory said...

Dick Francis, Madeleine L'Engle, Judy Blume. There are others, but those are the books I can read over and over and over again.

Joyce said...

I can't single out a favorite, either. Julia Spencer Fleming, Michael Connelly, Ilona Haas, Laura Lippman and several others.

Then there's this new author I read named Rebecca Drake...

Anonymous said...

I so jealous! I wish I would have gone to see Jodi last night. She is one of my favorites. Her books are truly masterpieces. Darn! Darn! Darn! I can't wait to read her latest one.

It's difficult to narrow my favorite author list down to just one, but if I had to it, I would vote for Thomas H. Cook.

Gina said...

I honestly can't think of a current favorite author. In the past, I've been at various times attached to Barbara Micheals (all gazillion of hers), Marion Zimmer Bradley (Mists of Avalon & the Darkover series), Stephen King, Tony Hillerman, Elizabeth Peters (Peabody in Egypt stuff) and Ellis Peters (I visited Shrewesbury & Wales because of Brother Cadfael). There are some authors whose books I started to read after I met them, and now always read -- Nancy Martin, for example, and Lyn Hamilton. I also like Camille Minichino's periodic table mysteries. I could probably list 40 or 50 others. It's hard to choose. [I do know what my favorite movie is, though! Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical. I've become addicted to that one. And I don't even smoke.]

Anonymous said...

Could I manage to put any more typos in a comment? Hm. It's too early for me, I guess. I meant to say "I'm so jealous" and "but if I had to do it." Sheesh. Sorry, guys.

Rebecca Drake said...

Thomas Cook, yes! And Madeline L'Engle and Laura Lippman and Nancy Martin and Lila Shaara and Kathleen George...

Yes, there are so-o-o many good authors! It's hard to keep up. And thanks for including me in the list, Joyce!

Gina said...

I can't believe I forgot to mention Anne Rice!

lisa curry said...

If I can only name one, it's Bernard Cornwell. I've been a bookworm since I was 8, and he's the only author who's ever made not want to read any other author's books, even authors I normally really like, after I finish one of his. Last time, it took me at least a month before I could get interested in something by someone else. This time, I didn't even try -- as soon as I finished his latest release (Lords of the North), I picked up an older series of his (the Starbuck Chronicles) and started it. Except now I'm getting ready to start book 4 of that four-book series, and I don't know what I'm going to do when I finish it! Maybe start the Sharpe series? I think there are a couple dozen of them...