Either through work, or via conventions I’ve attended over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a number of authors. It’s one thing to love an author’s work, and to rave on about this or that book. But getting to meet them, in person, and even have that extended moment with them long enough to say more than: ‘I love your work,’ is a huge privilege and yes, priceless.
MICHAEL MOORCOCK — Fantasy
Way back when I lived and worked in London, I met one of the biggest fantasy authors of his generation, Michael Moorcock, whose work (at the time) I was a huge fan of. If you haven’t read any of his work, you should try:
- Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories
- The Jewel in the Skull (Hawkmoon series)
- The Cornelius Quartet (Jerry Cornelius Series)
All books I grew up reading back in the 70s.
Moorcock once wrote of himself, “I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas.”
BRIAN STABLEFORD — Science Fiction
Another fellow British author I also had the privilege to meet, was Brian Stableford — another prolific writer. I devoured two of his first series, the HOODED SWAN and DAEDALUS series, consisting of six books apiece. Though, given they were written back in the mid 70s, I’m not sure they are still available. The man himself was polite, helpful, and very knowledgable and happy to talk across a broad range of subjects.
J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI — SF, Fantasy & Comics
I bumped into Joe—as everyone and his mother call him—first at a Babylon 5 convention, where he generously gave every waking moment over to talking to fans in hallways, the lift, breakfast and dining rooms and anywhere else he encountered anyone wanting to learn more about writing, his work, and yes, his philosophy of writing.
You are probably aware of all the TV work and series he’s been involved in, but Joe has, over the years, also written any number of comics.
TERRY PRATCHETT — Fantasy
Yes, that Terry Pratchett, who created one of the best fantasy worlds ever thought up: DISCWORLD.
I wanted to literally escape there, and live amongst Pratchett’s crazy characters. I wanted Rincewind, Twoflowers, and Death himself, as friends, and have the Luggage follow me everywhere.
The man—and his hat(s)—were, again, an enlightening fountain of knowledge and generosity. No matter how long people kept him talking, he was kind and patient, and always made sure everyone got their moment to talk to him at length. I still have first editions signed by him.
LOUISE PENNY — Crime Fiction
Ms. Penny is another of those amazing authors who give generously of her time and knowledge, and with a lovely softly spoken voice that should be announcing the news on the radio. She shakes your hand, signs your book and chats about Three Pines as if we all know where it is. Hidden away in some forgotten corner of Québec. As real to her loyal readers, as Discworld is to Terry Pratchett fans.
If you haven’t read her Chief Inspector Gamache series, may I humbly suggest you start with STILL LIFE, the first book in the series. And then, read them all. Yes, they really are *that* good!