1. Who is your all-time favorite author, and why?
This is quite difficult to answer, because there are lots of authors I adore. Geez! I guess if I absolutely had to choose one, it would have to be Mark Twain. He was very prolific: he wrote novels, short stories, essays and (not so good) poetry. He had a razor-sharp wit, and there was no better satirist than Twain. I love The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Life on the Mississippi (and should reread both of these books). What I like most about Twain is that he was kind of a prophet. Many of the things he said way back when still hold true today, like this quote: “The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise…” Twain hated war and man’s inhumanity to man—and he was one of America’s first true libertarians.
Hemingway said, “…all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” I totally agree.
2. Who was your first favorite author, and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?
My first favorite author was A. A. Milne–unequivocally and without question. When We Were Very Young is still my favorite book of poetry, and I occasionally reread a Winnie the Pooh story, especially if I’m having a bad day. This sounds so dumb, but the major characters in Winnie the Pooh speak to me when I read about them because every one of them shows a different aspect of my personality.
- Pooh = selfishness & generosity
- Piglet (my favorite) = fear & courage
- Rabbit = OCD to the max!
- Owl = intelligence & single-mindedness
- Eeyore = self-pity and moroseness
- I have issues with Tigger, because he’s way too happy and he’s a total moron.
One of the most traumatic experiences of my childhood occurred when Mom washed my Piglet doll, and he lost an eye. She fixed him, but I never felt the same about him after that. Why do Mom’s do that? Sure, he was filthy, but it was my filth, so it was okay. A little bacteria never hurt anyone!
3. Who is the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?
This one’s easy. It’s Kazuo Ishiguro, and it’s due to this book: Never Let Me Go. (See my review here). He’s not very prolific, but I’m sure his novels will live on for a long, long time. Never Let Me Go should be taught to lit. majors. It should be dissected and examined by the best literary minds in academia. I will be reading When We Were Orphans soon, and I’m totally psyched about it.
4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on after a moment of further reflection?
Okay, here they are, in no particular order:
- George R. R. Martin
- S. M. Stirling
- Paul Auster
- Michael Chabon
- Neil Gaiman
- Kate Atkinson
Upon further reflection, I’d add Jonathan Lethem and Douglas Coupland. Oh, and Carl Hiassen too!
Go ahead and give this a shot. It really makes you think! If you write about your favorites, let me know in the comments and I’ll go to your site and check them out.