Since my debut novel, Lavender Fields was published, I’ve had the opportunity to sit on a couple of different panels to talk about the book and my journey to being published.
I recall one writing conference I attended when I first started seriously writing had local writers I admired and truly enjoyed reading. It was amazing seeing the real people who had written these books, and then shared their experiences behind the stories inspirations and concepts.
So, since I’ve been asked, I’m sharing here the idea of; If I could create the ultimate conference panel of some of my favorite authors ever, what would that be like.
Well, unbelievably amazing of course!
It took me awhile to post this, as a part of me thought the idea of thinking through this list would be overwhelming and more than a bit daunting.
What I didn’t realize was how much a chance like this could influence not just myself as a writer, but writers and of course readers all over. We all have those authors, some, at least for me. stemming back to my childhood. Their imagination, personal stories and success keep me humbled, inspired and always allowing the next story to work its way in my brain. To have the chance for a one on one session with some of these people would be a dream come true. There’s even now several I have met since becoming published who shine as wonderful examples of the type of author I’d like to be someday.
Please know, this list is by no means complete, but serves at least as a snapshot compilation of some of the authors that have in their own way shaped me as a person, as a woman, and as a writer.
I won’t bore you with my childhood, but Dr. Seuss, AA Milne, and J.M. Barrie, introduced me to strange, interesting, and unconventional characters and stories that sparked that desire to fantasize, pretend and play.
Of course Judy Blume was there at that coming of age when everything is changing and your mind and body changes are as equally awkward and at times just as lonely.
Edgar Allan Poe, and Oscar Wilde gave me goosebumps, both with the macabre style and penchant for darkness in storytelling. (Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson!) I found it fun to be scared. (Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Night Stalker, Tales from the Crypt, sorry I digress!) This would then turn me onto the works of one of the biggest horror masters, Stephen King, and then Anne Rice (who I was ecstatic to actually meet, and her erotica is pretty steamy!)
Jules Verne – Come on, talk about creating stories of fantastic adventure!
Then came the romance! Danielle Steele was phenomenal, but Nora Roberts was by far my go to author! Not be left out, Nicholas Sparks had me ugly crying every time. I’ve been a longtime fan of Gerri Russell, who is incredibly generous and wonderful in person.
Loving a good mystery that kept me tuned in, guessing and page turning is still Dan Brown, James Patterson, and local celeb Robert Dugoni is now also included in my library.
I would love to have this dream panel of esteemed (and let’s face it, eclectic) guests in a beautiful old underground secret library, in a large room with rows upon rows of wall to wall books. Among the stately wood shelving and incredible architecture would be comfortable armchairs arranged in a circle. The lighting would be just the right balance of visibility and atmosphere. There’d be some sort of a tea service and delectable things to nibble on. (Perhaps a cocktail meet and greet at the beginning)
Set in this magical space where time doesn’t apply- like “A big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff” (Thanks Dr. Who for that!) , I’d spend time with each author, learning more about how their stories came to be, in their own words.
Like I said, this invite list is but a very small smattering of some of my favorite authors from the past and present. The past that shaped me then, and the current who shape me still. Without the life experiences of those times and those stories that saw me through them, I wouldn’t be blogging before you today.
Speaking of authors to know and love, Solstice Publishing/Summer Solstice helped make my dream come true and is made up of an amazing group of authors. I recommend checking their website, as you could find your next favorite author.
Also visit book conferences, festivals and events that feature local authors. Who knows who will be your next favorite! Use this tool to find and create your own event, maybe a book club, fairy tale festival or author convention.
Thanks for stopping by!