Writers I admire, huh? How much time do I have?
I tend to hyperventilate when I think that sometime in my life I will meet Kristan Higgins and laugh (and cry) so hard that my life is changed by it. I will end that meeting happier and more satisfied and—yes, more waterlogged—than when I began it. Because that’s how I feel every time I read one of her books, and believe me when I say that feeling is an absolute gift.
When I think of meeting Kathleen Gilles Seidel, my blood gets thumpy in my veins because I know we’re going to talk about sewing and writing and reading and what makes us tick as women. And I probably won’t say much because she has a way with words that silences me. This could, I guess, be a bad thing, but it isn’t—it just means reading one of her books is a reward I give myself when I’ve finished a good day of writing my own.
When I see Shirley Jump again—which I hope I do this winter. Lunch, right?—I’m going to tell her she’s one of the most generous people I know. She works way harder than I ever want to and she writes a lot and runs more miles than I can walk. She knows a lot and she shares what she knows. Unstintingly.
I’m not by any means an anglophile—I think all my history-and-culture-liking cells are used up by American history—but if I ever meet Mary Balogh and Carla Kelly, I’m going to thank them for giving me the Regency period in Great Britain. (Carla’s taken me to a few other times and places, too, but she won me as a fan with a book placed in the Regency—and kept me.)
There are so many I don’t even begin to scratch the surface when I try to list the writers I admire. There is JoAnn Ross, whose life-and-career experiences have enriched everyone who’s ever read them. Robyn Carr who I swear has made writing a series into an art form. Pamela Morsi who went from writing historical to contemporary with barely a seam. LaVyrle Spencer and Maggie Osborne who retired way too soon but enriched and changed lives before they did. Muriel Jensen, Cheryl Reavis, and the many more who write the category books that are the foundation of my keeper shelf. And, of course, Nora Roberts.
I love the books these women write. I also admire them as people. I’ll probably never meet most of them—which is just as well, because I’d no doubt spill my wine and stammer—so I’ll just take this opportunity to say what I’d like them to hear.
Thanks for everything. It’s been such a pleasure.