Thursday, 1 June 2017

My favourite Authors

Hello all!
I realise it is slightly alien for you dear readers to hear from me in a non-review situation. It has been done before admittedly, but not for a while!

So…..ta dah? It’s me?

Not really a grand entrance but I do tend to stumble into the scene rather than slide in with poise.
I digress…

Why am I wasting your time I hear you ask? Well, as part of a challenge launched by Eventbrite, I was asked: If I had the chance, which authors would be on my dream panel? Naturally I accepted because meeting the people who have created some of the most magical moments of my life and not only influenced my ambitions but who I am today is a dream anyone would have, right?

But now I think of it…who would I pick? In this situation there is simply too much choice! What if I met them all at once and they didn’t all get on? What if they don’t like me? What if I have to bring them back from the dead? There’s even the social inept part of me that’s screaming: ‘oh god…what if I miss out a favourite and then they feel underappreciated.’ …I’m babbling now, apologies…needless to say at first I was completely stumped for choice.

So ok I won’t be a spoil sport and say ‘I couldn’t possible choose.’ I’m choosing! It may be the hardest decision since Team Edward or Team Jacob (please let’s not start a fist fight I am mentioning it in passing) but I’m doing it. And yes, I realise the waffle I have written so far is a major form of procrastination.

Here we go!

Assuming this is a panel of four…the first author I would invite is Maggie Stiefvater. Admittedly I am yet to read all of her books, however her ‘shiver’ series is really special to me for a number of reasons. There was a time when I was about 12, when I forgot I loved reading and reading no longer had a time in my life. Looking back, I think it was quite a sad time and a time where I felt quite alone. The beginning of teenagehood didn’t favour me (in fact I don’t think it favours many). At the time I had even less of a clue as to what I was doing than now or who I really was. Shiver helped a lot. After I devoured the first one and craved the next in the series a little light came back on, a little more love crept back into me and reading was back with a bang. The first edit I ever made for my fandom Instagram account was indeed a shiver edit, and although looking back it is truly truly terrible, (I just found it in my photos and a little part of me imploded due to cringe levels) the urge shiver gave me to create and to relive the tale is really special to me. The pure reality in the fantasy and the love that didn’t exceed expectations and only let expectations down because everything but the love itself battled against it is sort of genius. It’s so simple that it’s complicated and so so sooooo beautiful. I have also read the Raven boys and thought the style again and the uniqueness of the tale was god damn gorgeous. So Maggie Stiefvater: for changing my life; giving me faith; showing me love and inspiring me to create…welcome to my panel.

Now, I’m assuming here I’m allowed to bring authors back form the dead, because any excuse to have magical powers, right? I thought so too. Anyway, the next author I’d like to invite to my panel is Emily Brontë. Unlike many other bookworms I raise my hand and admit that I struggled to read classics. I utterly refused to read them until about age 14, due to a misunderstanding with D.H Lawrence’s women in Love (oddly raunchy).
Anyhow! For my 16th birthday my grandmother got me the most stunningly beautiful edition of Wuthering Heights and with a ‘give it a go’ and a wink from her I delved in and loved every minute. The romance was timeless of course and yes the plot was engaging. Her writing, however, is simply phenomenal. I mean phenomenal. If you’ve read any of her poetry, you will know for a fact Brontë was born to write in such a vital and vibrant way as Wuthering Heights projects and she fully deserves to be on anyone’s panel. Not only did Emily spark my love of classics but she lead me on to her sister’s work, Austen, Alcott and many many more which I’d half-heartedly attempted before but never really appreciated.  Brontë has allowed me to be the person who sits in class reading Pride and Prejudice and bursting out laughing along with the teacher at Austen’s wit and shivering over Jane Eyre, not muttering and sighing my way through. Also, to have lived in a time where she had to go under a man’s name to even publish her work and still produced such mastery makes her a pretty cool role model.

My next author is another amazing lady, who I have no doubt will be in almost every bookworm’s favourite authors list. Cassandra Clare. Ohhh yes, her very name sends a crackle of geeky excitement through every fangirl and boy across the globe. Cassandra Clare has managed the momentous challenge of not only creating a whole new world, but she’s done it bloody well. I don’t know how she manages to get her readers loving so many characters from 3 different series but oh my goodness, choosing between Will, Jace and Julian still tears me to shreds. Cassandra Clare makes it to the list not only for her amazing books and characters, but she makes it here because her stories are the ones that have inspired me most. No other author has made me want to write and given me so many ideas or made me want to shout about bookish opinions and thoughts so much. The shadow world Clare has created helps me express myself and has allowed me to be me. The way I see myself so vividly in her characters is incredible. Sometimes Tessa will say or do something and I have to think twice about the fact that it isn’t me imagining myself as her. It makes you feel somewhat important, part of the plot and actually kinda cool. Being so connected and inspired by a book at the same time is truly special. Frankly, Cassandra Clare makes me feel blessed to let her books grace me with their presence.

And finally, probably the most predictable author that you’ve all been waiting for me to mention. The Queen herself. I learnt to read remarkably early. I mean scarily early. By the time I was 6 I had finished all the learner books and was the first in my class by almost a full year to start reading ‘proper books’. I would take 10 books out of the library at one time aged 9 and finish them within a few days. (This is beginning to sound like something out of Mathilda by Roald Dhal so I’ll stop…I’m sure you get the picture!) Despite this, I refused to read Harry Potter, as it was ‘for boys’. The fateful day came, however, when aged 6 and on holiday I ran out of books Dun Dun Dunnnnn (the feeling still haunts me) so I grudgingly began Harry Potter and honestly, it was the start of one of the biggest adventures of my life. Harry Potter is a huge part of me and my childhood. It’s shaped my beliefs and kept me believing and having faith in magic and the power of friendship and courage. Some people might think it’s sad to be so shaped by something that is fantasy, but who in their right mind wouldn’t want a little magic in them?
J.K Rowling: for changing the lives of so many; defeating all odds and giving my rather unremarkable existence a bit of adventure, welcome to my panel.

I realise this post has been a lot about me and a little deep, so sorry for that… let’s try not to get emotional.

There are so so many great authors who I sadly couldn’t squeeze on but Patrick Ness, Ransom Riggs and Aprilynne Pike you made it to the short-list!!

If you're looking to host your own author panel, check out Eventbrite's  conference management page!

Happy Reading,

Hebe x

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