Friday, September 26, 2014

Which Writer Means the Most to You? (NoQS Contest Free Pass Opportunity!)

I'm not asking who is your favorite writer. I'm not asking which writer you think is the greatest writer ever. I'm not asking which writer you wish to emulate. I'm asking which writer means the most to you -- and the answer to all these questions can be different writers and can also all be one writer.

For me, my favorite writer and the writer that means the most to me have the same answer: JK Rowling (surprise surprise!).

I do not own this picture.
The answer to this question is deeply unique, so it is personal story time. Gather around the fireplace, everyone. *gather gather* My story will be short and vague because it's personal, so I apologize for that.

I started reading JK Rowling years and years ago. I loved her (who didn't?) but I wouldn't say she meant the most to me. She hadn't affected me in a deep level yet.

That came years later, when I was going through a tough time and I just didn't know what I could do. How could I get out of the feeling I felt? How could I release whatever I was feeling? I'd been reading for a long time before that and dabbled a bit in poetry and short stories, but nothing serious at all. Writing was a conscious decision for me; I looked at JK Rowling and thought, "I could write myself out of this darkness." So I wrote. And I wrote. One of the most deeply autobiographical novels I've written (and so, the worst novel I've written). But it was necessary. I needed to see myself on the page, have the character go through what I was and through the character's emotions and actions, release my same frustrations.

It helped. More than I can say. I'm scared to think what state or situation I'd be in if I did not have JK Rowling. She showed me writing could be my greatest form of expression because without expressing myself, I was on a sure path to implosion. In me, she sparked the journey to become a writer, one of the (if not the) best gifts a stranger has ever given me -- and much greater than most gifts I've received from people I know. She means so much to me because she has changed my life for the better. I am a writer because of her. Whether I would have been a writer without her, I'm not sure. Maybe I would have, who knows? But at that crucial time, she was there for me. She set off something so deep in me because much of my present life revolves around writing. Some of my long-term goals are writing-related. And she sparked it. I'm a changed person because of her.

Writing and writers can create revolutions in people. Now I want to know which writer means the most to you. Is it a writer like Jo Rowling? Is it a family member? Friend? Anyone, I'd love love to know.

(If you're participating in the query contest Nightmare on Query Street (please do, it's amazing!) the answer to this question will be your submission to a free pass from me! If I pick your comment as the one I loved the most, you'll automatically skip the dreaded slush pile and have a spot on the SC Spooks - my team. If you're submitting for the free pass, please just say "Free Pass" before you start your answer because I'd love to hear from writers not submitting to NoQS as well! If you're not submitting for the free pass, just don't mention "Free Pass" in your comment :) I'll pick the answer that is most in depth, personal, honest, meaningful, etc. as my winner but I'll probably end up picking in a very subjective manner; you guys always have amazing answers. What'll raise your chances is if you Tweet out your answer to this question, add #NoQS, link to this post, and mention me @SC_Author! It won't guarantee a spot (and is definitely not a requirement) but if things are close, I'll look into Tweets. Deadline is October 4th, I'll announce the winner on the Monday after! Visit Michelle's and Mike's (he might have his up soon) blogs for their passes.)

So how about it? Which writer means the most to you?


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  2. There is no doubt in my mind that LMM Montgomery is the writer that has meant the most to me in my life. When I was 10, my mother and sister insisted that I read Anne of Green Gables. I tried, I really did, but I never made it past the first chapter. Then my sister told me to "skip the first chapter." So I did and that was the beginning of a life long love. It was also my first writing lesson, dump your first chapter. Since then I have read everything she ever wrote, including her personal diaries which made me feel our friendship was real and which gave me insight into the mind and heart of a writer. I have visited PEI, been to Green Gables, seen her aunt's, grandparent's and father's homes, walked Lover's Lane and stood by her final resting place. Obsessive? Maybe, but why wouldn't I be? These were the books I reached for when my reading pile was exhausted, when I was lonely, when I was happy, when nothing new was filling my reader's heart. Yes, Maud meant, means, much to me. she has sustained my love of reading and my passion for writing and I sincerely hope one day to follow in her footsteps.

    I would love a free pass to NoQs! My twitter handle is @nancyemcc

  3. When I was a kid, I loved reading. Up past bedtime every night with a flashlight on my shoulder, I would read until my mom told me to turn off the light, and sometimes later. But then required high school and college reading sort of killed my love and I forgot what I liked to read for me. But then came Harry Potter, and Stephenie Meyer, and Cassandra Clare and I loved reading again. Then I met Cassie Clare, but she had a photographer and there was a mob scene, and I was overwhelmed.

    But then I started reading more YA books, and going to more signings, and I was hooked. But there I was, in my thirties, with no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But meeting all those made me realize that the writers whose books I love, those are real people. And that meant that if they could write and be published, I could too. Rainbow Rowell, Kasie West, Veronica Rossi, Steph Perkins, Jenny Han, Jennifer Armentrout, Sarah Dessen and more! And the authors who I can now consider friends, like Joy Hensley and Jodi Meadows.

    I don't know if this answer is a cop out—picking a lot of authors—but for me they're all like stepping stones on my journey to realizing that I can do this. I can write.


  4. Glad you didn't implode!
    I could answer that question two ways. I could name Terry Brooks, as I really dove into fantasy after reading his Shannara trilogy and started writing on my own. Or I could name Paul, as the books he wrote in the Bible have had a lasting impact on my world and how I live my life.

  5. I thought this would be hard--like so hard I didn't think I wanted to try--but the answer appeared after I finished reading your J.K Rowling story.

    I was away at Girl Guide camp, living in a canvas tent for two weeks, when I picked up a book for the first time. For fun. It was a David Eddings book, the 7th or 8th in a series and I consumed it in one or two nights. What I admire about David Eddings and his wife, Lee, who had so much to do with the writing and writing process that her name appears with his on later books, is that they taught me that a world on the page could be larger than a book. They taught me I could learn to care for, hate, love, empathize, laugh at, root for, that is, engage on an emotional level with words because words created worlds.

    Even if my reading habits have grown with me, I still go back to David Eddings (and Lee!) once every year or two because those books are my touchstone.

    @jennyleeSD (I would be happy to score a Free Pass entry.)

  6. Free Pass would be swaeet! The writer that means the most to be is Anne McCaffrey. I, too had a bad moment (well, more than one but yanno), stuck in a relationship going nowhere fast and verbally abusive so I needed something to take me away from all that and I found the DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN and was hooked. I devoured every one of her books and longed to live on Pern. But then I found the Harper Hall trilogy and wanted to be able to sing to dragons. I made it through to the other side thanks to her words and it made me realize how powerful words on a page can be. That's why I write, I want to take someone from their darkest moment and let in the light like JK did for you and Anne M. did for me.

  7. Sweet Mother of Science, SC, you don't go for the fluff.

    Most people seem to have a plan in mind for their life. I did. I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed young woman chasing down the idea that anyone can do anything if we just work hard enough. So I worked. I worked and I worked. I studied. I gave up everything to chase my dream. I stopped watching TV, reading books. I stopped socializing with people because that took too much time from my research. And then, after I put in everything I had, every scrap of my existence to the great ivory tower of academia, I was taken out at knees by politics.

    I'd wasted a decade of my life. Gone.

    A decade. Everything I'd done was gone. Worthless. All that work will never see the light of day. Never to be quoted by others because of a petty fight aimed at my supervisor--I wasn't even the intended victim, just collateral damage. Suddenly, I was middle aged with nothing to show for my life.

    All around me, books aimed at teenagers were taking off, and I hadn't been young for a long time. Somehow, the world had passed me by, and I was old, out of work, no references and my life was spiraling into the place you might expect. Everything that had ever meant anything to me was gone except my family--and they had been much neglected in my pursuits. Worse, the only literature making the rounds was about bright eyed teenagers achieving their dreams because they just worked hard enough and made all the right choices. That hadn't been my experience. I needed a different story. I needed to know that there was hope somewhere in the ashes of my life. I needed to read about how sometimes, even when you do everything right, the world could go all wrong. And I needed to know that there was life *after.*

    I'd read Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series before, but that time it hit me in the feels. There's the main character, her life in ruins because she did everything right. She played by all the rules, and still everything went to hell. And now she was trying to put her life back together. That fit my experience, and she made it. My heart was broken. So was hers. She found a way to move on, so could I.

    Right, and now that I feel all exposed, you can find me @RenaTheWriter (I'd love a free pass).

  8. I'd have to say for me it was Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon. I was about fourteen when a friend of my mom's said "here read this" and handed me the biggest book I'd ever seen in my entire life. I was probably a little to young to read Mists of Avalon, but it didn't matter. I devoured that book whole, again and again. I was going through an extremely hard time in my life, I was dealing with sexual harassment at school, rumors that I was a lesbian, and complete and utter abandonment by all my friends. It was so bad I had to each lunch in front of a counselor, and couldn't be left alone. The worst part was, none of it was because of something I did, but because everyone believed I was lying about something someone did to me.

    I wasn't religious at the time. My mom was, and she begged me to go to church with her, but I hated the idea. Then, this book was, in some ways, about this religion and a Goddess that was dark and brutal yet beautiful. She spoke through nature and was more about women and that just spoke to me at the time. Suddenly, I was praying to this Goddess every day, using her to help me through the worst. I prayed when the characters did, I cried when they did, and most of all I put one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward.

    It's all that that makes Marion Zimmer Bradley important to me, but also because, when I was old enough to finally reflect upon what happened to me, I realized this is it. That's why I want to write. I want to write for kids, I want to give them worlds they can slip away into, I want to pay it forward. I want to write a book and hopefully, touch a soul like hers touched mine, and help them through a rough patch in their life. That's why I'm a writer.

  9. Ah crap, I was so distracted by the post I forgot that yes please I also want a free pass!! @kelalysimon.

  10. Short and sweet. JK Rowling, followed swiftly by JRR Tolkien.

  11. Free pass! This is a great question and a tough one because there are so many authors I love. But I'm going to go with C.J. Cherryh. She is the master when it comes to creating complex worlds filled with political intrigue, corrupt governments and broken, wounded protagonists. I am a HUGE sci-fi and fantasy fan and she writes both with panache and a writing style that is both complex and completely readable. She strings you along with breadcrumbs, hinting at big, badder, darker things and then smacks you in the face when you least expect it. My shelves are FILLED with her books and I find myself reading them again and again.

  12. Free Pass! The author that means the most to me: JK Rowling. Not only are her books a master class in character development and plotting, she makes you believe that somewhere in a parallel world, these people do exist. Her books were the first ones that made me believe I could do this. I think it was because of how she persevered when she was writing HP, it makes believe I will too. Love her! @nancyparish

  13. And I forgot to add my Twitter handle: @Rockwell_JB Doh!

  14. Free Pass. The writer that means the most to me is Eiji Yoshikawa, simply because of his novel Musashi. The range of characters can illustrate almost anyone you would meet in day to day life (from the young, cocky prodigy Kojiro to the self important gran Osugi). Musashi, the MC, while humble, perseveres through trials, facing death with bravery and honor. The poetry in Yoshikawa's writinf inspired me to take writing back up (during my dark period when I fell sick with Crohn's Disease) and I haven't stopped since. As a person, I've learned to face my challenges head on, and as a writer I'm never willing to give up my dream.

  15. Free Pass!

    Many authors meant the world to me growing up: A.A. Milne, Frank L. Baum, Carolyn Keene, S.E. Hinton, Esther Forbes – to name a few. A.A. Milne showed me the power of language; Winnie the Pooh didn’t walk, he stumped along. Baum revealed the power of sharing imagined new worlds. Keene awakened the mystery-lover in me. As for Hinton and Forbes, I read The Outsiders and Johnny Tremaine so many times, I had entire passages memorized. As an adult I discovered other wonderful authors such as Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Tana French and C.J. Box, but, while they all hold a special place in my world, I think Sue Grafton has meant the most to me. She was the first author I read who had a kick-ass heroine -- one who was tough yet still had a heart. I’ve been lucky enough to hear Ms. Grafton speak on a couple occasions, and she personified the ‘get it done’ attitude I admired so much in her character, Kinsey Millhone.

  16. So I'm only using my initials because this is so personal. Most people are going to disagree with me about who I pick, but mine is Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight Series. Before you boo me, hear me out. When I was in high school, I fell in madly in love with this guy who was a college student. We started dating and after a few years, things went bad in our relationship. By bad, I mean bad. One night, after a huge fight, he locked me in his apartment and I couldn't escape because his deadbolt only worked with a key on the inside. Even when that happened, I still couldn't let him go. There are other things that I can't write about, but yes the relationship was extremely toxic, and even abusive. I couldn't see it because I loved him so much that I lost myself in him. It took me three years to figure out I would eventually love someone else and he didn't make Now this all happened before Twilight, but for years, I hated myself, wondering why I was so stupid and why did I hang on for so long. Then I read Twilight and for the first time, I realized something about myself. I was young, immature, and I learned some very valuable lessons that make me who I am today--a person who I like. For whatever reason, I couldn't see that until I read Bella's story. Now days, I own my past and no longer hate myself for the things I allowed to happen and that's all because I read Twilight. So a huge thanks to Stephenie Meyer for helping me accept myself, warts and all.

    1. I don't think that anyone should ever tease or shame you if a book changed your life. Ever. Stand proud.

  17. Oops, forgot to add free pass to mine.

  18. Free Pass! Thanks for asking about this! My Twitter handle is @smnystoriak.

    As a 40 year old, I rediscovered reading for pleasure through a book club at the school where I work. I had always been an avid reader of non-fiction, and I was the nerd who actually enjoyed the research and writing of papers during my undergrad and graduate years in college. But this book club was different. They all preferred fiction, and when it was my turn to choose the month's selection, I really didn't know where to turn. So, I did the only thing I could do. I went into Border's and asked the kid at the desk for a recommendation. Stephenie Meyers Twilight, it was.

    And yes, even at age 40, I fell in love. Not so much with Edward or Jacob, or any of the characters really, or the writing itself, but I fell in love with the idea that the author was a mom with little ones at home, and she believed that when a story won't let you go, it was begging to be written.

    I had never considered writing books, let alone fiction. But during the time of my Twilight Series "Read-a-thon", I, too, had a story in me that wouldn't let me go. And I have Ms. Meyer to thank for the confidence to go for it. One year later, I had a finished draft of a suspense thriller, with an ending that still makes me emotional. Today, I am working on my fourth novel. I've come a long way!

    Since then, other successful authors have connected with me, and helped to steer me toward my goal. Lauren Baratz Logsted, Maureen Johnson, and Erin Kellison, along with some special beta readers, have been inspirational to me, both as a writer, and in what I write. As my writing journey continues, I have all of these people and many more to thank. I am still unpublished, but if it were not for these people, I wouldn't have the experience of writing which I embrace every day.

  19. Sure would like that FREE Pass! :)

    For me this answer has two parts. The first writer who was really special to me was Julie Campbell who wrote the Trixie Belden MG mystery series. When I was a kid, I walked to the library almost every day one summer to check out Trixie Belden books. I feel like my experience shows how people can become lifelong readers if they get connected with books they love early on.

    As a writer, I live in awe of Ernest Hemingway. I wish I could say as much as he does in so few words. :)


    The authors who are most important to me, who I will always cherish, and be grateful to have read are Francine Pascal--as her Sweet Valley series is the first book I remember picking up on my own at 6pm while wandering the book aisles of Kmart while my mom worked and there was no one to babysit me, so basically the staff watched out for me. I perused and picked up Sweet Valley Kids, the adventures of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield--two twins that couldn't be more different. From there I went to Sweet Valley Twins, High, and College, so basically I grew up with Francine Pascal's twins, and a few years ago, I even picked up Sweet Valley Confidential--Jessica and Elizabeth ten years later. Without Francine, I may never have joined the reading world, or wanted to write stories of my own. As the first story I wrote, was when I was eight (two sided on yellow legal pad paper).

    The second author most important to me is SE Hinton. I found the first beat up paperback novel of The Outsiders in my middle school library. It introduced me to a grittier side of novels and I was completely sucked in. Soon after I read That Was Then, This Is Now, Rumblefish, Tex, and Taming The Star Runner. Her books showed me that it's okay to push the limits and show the darker side of life. That writing isn't about just one thing, but many. That each story has a different person, a different path, and a different outcome.

    Without those two, I probably never would have traveled the path of an author.



    The author that means the most to me, so much so that on the day he died I cried is Roald Dahl. The year he died had been the worst year of my life, I was nine years old and my family was going through some turbulent times. I poured myself into reading. I read so many books that year, from Hans Christian Anderson, Enid Blyton and Richard Adams to Roald Dahl.

    The books I escaped in the most were Enid Blytons and Roald Dhal but Dahl still resounds in me to this day because, when life seemed so bleak that the sun would never shine, Dahl made me laugh. Glue on Matilda's fathers hat, a rambunctious parrot, a giant peach, a factory full of chocolate and a pair of vile old ladies (witches) - I was cast into a world where my imagination could take me anywhere and laughter was sure to follow.

    I had so many great adventures that year, okay - so they were in my head and largely directed by someone else, but isn't it fantastic how someone, somewhere, sits down to write a book that will eventually bring joy and hope to so many?

    The morning of the 23rd of November 1990, I was in that just waking up phase. We were living in the same bedroom at my aunts house and my dad set the clock so the radio comes on as a wake up call for him to go to work. A news bulletin played from it, Roald Dahl had died. It makes me emotional now to think of it. The man that had, without knowing, helped me cope when I wanted to curl up in a ball and hide, had died. I'm not going to say I clutched a battered copy of Matilda and rocked, sobbing in the corner. That'd be a fib, but I did cry.

    I will forever be grateful to Mr Dahl for being there when everything went to mush, I will forever love his wit, his creations and his ability to light the spark in my imagination. At the time, he was my hero and actually, he always will be. And I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I see my nine year old daughter curled up on the sofa reading one of his fantastic adventure.

  22. I just realized I have to put free pass in the comment, so FREE PASS!! :D

    The author that means the most to me is probably C.S. Lewis. Sure, most of my favorite books are by other authors, but ever since I was five years old Narnia was there on the shelf if I needed to disappear from reality for a few hours. And then when I got older, I discovered his science fiction, and to this day That Hideous Strength is one of my favorites. It's got fantasy, science, some creepy premises, and it's all set in the era of the greatest generation, with one of the best female characters created by a man, and best of all has Tolkien as a character (there's also some Lord of the Rings references true nerds will catch, and LOTR was published after THS). I don't necessarily agree with everything Lewis stood for, but if he knew anything, it was to write stories that attach themselves to kids' hearts.

    My twitter handle is @whatshewrote. Thanks for this opportunity!!

  23. I'd love a noQs Team Spooks FREE PASS!

    The author that meant the very, very most to me transported me to a world with a heroine that was fragile yet strong. And most importantly, she kept going despite the unknown. Bruce Coville's Tara of INTO THE LAND OF THE UNICORNS.

    My young life was riddled with the chaos of a nasty parent divorce, and I was the torn human soul stuck in the middle. I reached for strong female characters in fantasy landscapes during these trials, searching for some part of myself in them. Bruce Coville's understanding of a girl's heart that needed to be admired and yet stand on her own two feet gave me hope for my future, and a firm understanding that I could lift myself up despite my circumstances.

    I read that book over and over until it fell apart. Then I taped it back together and kept reading. I still have that well-loved version, awaiting my daughters' need to escape when they're old enough.

    Twitter @egmoorewriter

  24. I'd love a NOQS Team Spooks FREE PASS!

    Shel Silverstein. No matter how many times I read A Light in the Attic, the poems still evoke all my emotions, from laughter to sadness. Even after the hundredth read. I want to write a book like that; one a reader will finish and long to read again.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  25. Free Pass plz!

    Juliet Marillier has shaped my life ever since I read her debut novel, Daughter of the Forest. I was blown away by the strength of the main character, by her vivid descriptions and by her writing, which was (and still is) full of heart. There was also this scene that made me admire Juliet's metaphorical balls because it was insane and mean and so unfair to her character, but it takes guts to put something like that in a book.

    I made my parents drive to Lisbon the weekend after I finished the book, just so I could get Son of the Shadows, Child of the Prophecy, Wolfskin and Foxmask - her other books which had been edited in Portuguese.

    My parents were pissed, naturally. Books were/are expensive, but still, I preservered and brought all four home.

    Son of the Shadows remains one of my top novels of all time, even after 11 years (I was 14 when I read it). Again, the main character was strong and driven, and looked disgrace in the face and faced her fears head on. It was a crappy time for me because of High School, and both Liadan and Fainne helped me cope with the shit-ass bullying.

    So, eventually, I ran out of her books, and I find that the first book in the Bridei Chronicles (The Dark Mirror) was coming out in a month, but that I'd have to wait, like, a YEAR before I got the Portuguese version. So I bought the English version. It meant reading the book with a dictionary beside me (back then, my English was good, not great), but I did it anyway because, what do you know, I'd fallen in love with Bridei and Tuala. I learned a lot and improved my vocabulary like crazy because every word I didn't know, I wrote down in a piece of paper which I then re-read before bed.

    So, I've been crazy for Juliet's books for years, and I've loved everything she's given us - some more than others, of course. Her recent Shadowfell trilogy is amazing and I wish everyone read it, but it's not that well known and I'm like, "HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?" Because Juliet is one of the most gifted writers I've read and she deserves the world for being so amazing. I got to meet her last year and she's the sweetest lady ever, and I can only hope to be half as good as her one day. We even went shopping for dog clothes and it was awesome :D

    So yeah, kind of long. Summing it up: Juliet means a lot to me because her books alone were enough for me to want to improve myself and my English.

  26. Free Pass
    The writer that means the most to me is Carol Lynch Williams. I admire her for her honest, direct prose and ability as an author, for her love of mothering her daughters, for her would-be career choice of country music star. But more, I admire her, and she means so much to me, because of the way she works so hard to build better writers through her WIFYR conference. She isn't making millions out of this, she does it for her passion to share the craft and help writers hone their talents and skills so that they can be the best writers they can be. I've been able to attend the conference it has been invaluable in helping me become a better writer. For her it isn't about publishing, though that is the goal, it is about making each writer the best that they can be.

  27. Free Pass if you please!

    The writer who means the most to me is Dan Brown. His book The Da Vinci Code came out while I was a freshman in college. At that time I was pretty lost as to who I was. I suffered from debilitating self-confidence issues ranging from how I looked to how smart I was, or wasn't.

    I wasn't a reader at the time, but I remembered seeing an ad for The Da Vinci Code somewhere, and asked for it for Christmas. After the New Year I embarked on my first enjoyment read—as in not assigned—since I was in middle school. I can't remember my specific thoughts, but I enjoyed the book so much that I went straight to the college bookstore and started browsing for something else to read.

    The Da Vinci Code was my gateway book. It opened the doors to Jane Austen and Orson Scott Card, Charlaine Harris and Victor Hugo. What Dan Brown did for me was open my eyes. I got a sense for character flaws and in a way, my own flaws, and began to understand that flaws are natural and in most cases amusing, if not harmless. I wouldn't say he's my favorite author, but there'll always be a soft spot in my heart for him.

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    The writer who means the most to me was my great grandfather Raymond. He died when I was in second grade and I remember him well. His grand father was from the Shawnee nation. When most of the tribe dispersed, in the early 1800s, they thought that General William Henry Harrison would pursue them and hunt them down. Many went into hiding. He made it to eastern Ohio and there took work on a farm. There, he met a young indentured servant by the name of Agnes Burch. With three years remaining on her service, they ran away.

    They married and he took the name of Thomas Burch--rather than she take his last name.

    I found all of this information written in the back of my grandfather's bible. I have no way of knowing if it is true. It started me on my search for Native American history and started my hobby of collecting old family bibles. It also made me realize the priceless value of the written word.

  30. "Free Pass" For me this is a very easy question. There is one writer who works tirelessly to support the writing community. Who's always willing to answer questions from writers in need. And who follows back on Twitter, the fabulous Brenda Drake.

    1. Thank you, Jamie! You are so kind and I am so honored. Love ya! :)

    2. Oh no thank you! The feedback I received during Pitch Wars has improved my writing tenfold. You're like the shepherd to wayward writers lol. Love ya too!

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  33. Free Pass

    I didn't even have to think about this question before I had my answer: The writer who means the most to me is Tamora Pierce.

    I've been reading almost non-stop since Kindergarten. It wasn't until fourth grade that I discovered Tamora Pierce's amazing Immortals series, but now, years later, after high school, college, and traveling the world, these books, and others by Ms. Pierce, are always on my list of favorites when I try to list them.

    I already enjoyed fantasy, but hers were the first fantasy books that really drew me in, really made me feel like one of the characters, as if I was living in that world and going on those adventures with the characters. She inspired me to write, and to write fantasy in particular.

    I don't write young adult novels like her. The story I'm currently trying to get published is much darker than her books. But if I'd never read her books, and yet still managed to write my book, it would definitely not be the same. Tamora Pierce and her books taught me that the character is the most important part of any novel, no matter the subject matter or genre, because the characters drive the story.

    Without her, I wouldn't be the writer I am today. Meeting her at a book signing for Trickster's Choice is one of the highlights of my life.

    1. Meant to say, I know I'm late to the game and the winner's already been chosen, but this is a great question and I wanted to share my answer.

    2. I'm so happy you did. I love reading these comments, and seeing new comments show up is like Easter :)