Who do I admire? Where do I start?

This was such a hard post to write—I have so many authors I admire, and for so many different reasons.

Should I only mention my favorite authors, the ones that have written books that I have perpetually installed on my keeper shelf with a mental note of “One day I hope to write as well as they do”? Or the ones who have inspired me while I’m writing?

I could talk for ages about how much I admire Patricia Briggs for her world building in her Mercy Thompson series as well as her Alpha and Omega series. For her ability to write emotion and description without wasting words—there’s one scene in Iron Kissed that makes me cry every single time I read it. And I’ve read it a lot. I love how she’s developed Mercy’s character throughout the series, and made her face her relationship with the yummy Adam. I love how she’s taken a damaged character like Anna, whom I wasn’t sure about at the start of the Alpha and Omega series, and made her strong and, hardest of all, made me like her. Because it’s so hard to share her mate Charles with anyone else. 😉

Or how much I admire Lorelei James – for writing fantastic mysteries as Lori Armstrong, and still finding time (and the energy) to write steamy hot westerns. Add Jill Shalvis and Maya Banks to the list too – I love how they both manage to make me cry on one page and then laugh out loud two pages later. That is an art and a natural talent. (Not to imply they don’t all work hard at their writing)

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention J.R.R. Tolkien – for his world building. Though it took me ten years to finally make it through the Fellowship of the Ring, once I passed Elrond’s Council I inhaled the rest of the trilogy. I adored his worlds—especially the little spoken of Rangers of the North. But that’s a story for another day. 😉

But like Jeffe Kennedy wrote in her post earlier this month, the authors that spring to mind when someone asks who I admire are the authors who pay it forward by helping other writers not just in their writing but in their methodology, their commitment to their craft, and then there are those who have helped me personally as a writer.

Authors like Lori Wilde who took an hour out of her day at a busy conference earlier this year to sit down one-on-one with me and talk craft.

Authors like Allison Brennan who teaches courses as well as replies to emails and on loops with advice to new (and not so new) authors about the crazy business we’re in, and still manages to write really good books.

Authors such as Sean Munger, Diana Cosby, CJ Lyons and Shannon Stacey who have replied to my emails seeking sources on law, naval, medical or ATV questions.

Then there are the authors who have been my cheerleaders or whipcrackers and kept me writing when I was ready to chuck it all–which is just about every other day lately. I’m looking at you Red Garnier, Anara Bella and Vivian Arend  And I must give a huge shout out to Cheryl Brooks, Cynthia D’Alba, Vicky Dreiling. Rita Henuber, Desiree Holt, and so many others who have made me laugh and feel at home at the various conferences where I’ve met them.

I also admire—and am seriously in complete awe of—any author who works full time, has a family, and still manages to write, especially when they manage to complete multiple books a year. I have no idea how they manage to juggle all those responsibilities. Writing is my full-time job; my kids are grown (though one still lives at home, and I now have two fur babies who I swear take as much of my attention as my kids did when they were toddlers) so I have no excuse. I toil 10-14 hours a day to write 2,000 words—and usually out of every 5,000 I write, 2,500 gets deleted, and still do all the social media that’s required of authors these days. There’s no way I can imagine trying to work outside of home as well as take care of children and still find time to sleep, let alone write multiple books a year.

I know I’m missing tons of others and I apologize if you’re not mentioned here, but I admire you all like crazy, most with an almost fan-girl fervor.


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