A magical author

This month we’re discussing writers we admire. This is a tough one to answer because there are so many authors that I love, but there is one in particular who makes me want to be a better writer. If you haven’t already fallen in love with Sarah Addison Allen’s work, allow me to introduce you.

I stole this from her website: North Carolina novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction — a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.

This little blurb only hints at what you really need to know about Ms. Allen’s stories—they’re filled with magic so beautifully written that you can’t help but believe, and romance so sweet it leaves you hungry for more.

Need examples? Here are a few of my favorite bits and pieces from her books:

“Some men you know are Southern before they ever say a word,” Julia said as she and Emily watched Sawyer’s progress, helpless, almost as if they couldn’t look away. “They remind you of something good–picnics or carrying sparklers around at night. Southern men will hold doors open for you, they’ll hold you after you yell at them, and they’ll hold on to their pride no matter what. Be careful what they tell you, though. They have a way of making you believe anything, because they say it that way.”
Sarah Addison Allen (The Girl Who Chased the Moon)

“I’ll give you one day at a time, Claire. But remember, I’m thousands of days ahead already.”
Sarah Addison Allen, Garden Spells

“If anyone had been paying attention to the signs, they would have realized that air turns white when things are about to change, that paper cuts mean there’s more to what’s written on the page than meets the eye, and that birds are always out to protect you from things you don’t see.”
Sarah Addison Allen, The Peach Keeper

“Books can be possessive, can’t they? You’re walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what’s inside will change your life, but sometimes you don’t even have to read it. Sometimes it’s a comfort just to have a book around. Many of these books haven’t even had their spines cracked. ‘Why do you buy books you don’t even read?’ our daughter asks us. That’s like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course.”
Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

I think the best authors are the ones who can take a common feeling or observance and wrap it up in a way that makes the reader say, “Yes, exactly!” as they are reading along. Ms. Allen does that in every book.

Yes, I’m a huge fangirl, and I’m not even ashamed to admit it. Since I’m so shameless, I’ll share this one last quote because I think it holds true when we fall in love with an author’s work:

“It feels like he’s taken your heart, doesn’t it?….Like he’s reached in and pulled it out from you. And I bet he smiles like he doesn’t know, like he doesn’t know he’s holding your heart in his hand and you’re dying from him.”
Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

How about you? Is there an author who holds your heart?


A magical author — 6 Comments

  1. *happy sigh* Brilliant choices. That final one gets me every time. I have you to thank for introducing me to SAA and I’ll be forever grateful for that. She’s a marvelously talented author, but you’re right up there with her in my mind, Maggie! :)

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