Hi, I’m Kate, and there are a whole lot of authors that I love!
But that’s kind of a loaded statement. Because to me, loving an author is about more than loving a few books they wrote. Some of my favourite books haven’t been written by a favourite author. And some of my favourite authors don’t have any books that would crack the top ten. It’s about more than just a couple entries into their bibliography. It’s about their body of work as a whole, the patterns that emerge when looking at everything they’ve ever written. These are the authors for whom I’ll line up for each new book they put out, regardless of the setting, summary, or genre, because their name on the cover has become a seal of quality. I’ve picked out five of those authors to talk about here today.
1. Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm [site]
I love how her stories are such slow burns. I love how her characters are so flawed. I love how realistic her writing is. I love how bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad. Though her books have often left me sobbing and angry at the world, I’ve never read one I didn’t like, even the ones that are widely considered to be boring or slow moving. There’s just such a wonderful lyrical quality to her prose, and there’s something to love about the way she completely immerses readers in her characters — their flaws and their strengths, their victories and their tragedies, the scale of their entire lives. Slow isn’t always bad when we get that sort of thing in return.
Favourite Book: Fool’s Errand
2. Scott Lynch [site]
What I love so much about Lynch is how his books can be so many things at once. They’re funny, they’re sad, they’re horrifying, they’re dramatic, they’re violent, they’re digusting, they’re shocking. And did I mention they’re funny? Never have I laughed out loud so often while reading novels that also made me cringe away from the page. And that’s something I love and admire, because real life doesn’t have a “tone.” In real life, you sometimes laugh at funerals and cry at weddings. There are too few books out there that let themselves really embrace the full range of emotion! Aside from their great tone and emotional range, Lynch’s books are just engaging, enjoyable, well-plotted adventures that are all kinds of fun without being dumb fun.
Favourite Book: Red Seas Under Red Skies
3. Jacqueline Carey [site]
I was in my early twenties when I first read Kushiel’s Dart by Ms. Carey. It was the first fantasy novel I’d ever read that had zero interest in attracting a male audience and was written entirely with women in mind. It amazed me. I didn’t even know fantasy was allowed to be uninterested in the interests of men! I’ve lined up for every book she’s written since. I think Carey’s success was a paradigm shifting moment for fantasy. It was for me, at least. A book written specifically for adult women that was romantic but not romance, erotic but not erotica, filled to the brim with politics, conspiracy, adventure, and war? It was everything I’d ever wanted to exist and never thought could.
Favourite Book: Kushiel’s Chosen
4. Mark Anthony/Galen Beckett [site]
Oh my god, this guy again?? I know, I know! But I can’t help it. I love his books! I adored his work as Galen Beckett on the Mrs. Quent books so much that I actually checked out his other series — portal fantasy, my least favourite subgenre! But I’m glad I did, because I love The Last Rune, too. Anthony/Beckett’s writing melds science and magic with amazing skill. He’s a scientist and a paleontologist and it shows! It’s so fun to see, for instance, the concept of shadowy void magic tied to black holes or to entropy. His books are also wonderfully diverse, and both of his serieses quietly but prominently feature an LGBT romance. I can’t wait to see what he writes next!
Favourite Book: The House on Durrow Street
5. Gail Carriger [site]
Some authors and their books are just so much fun! Carriger is one of those. Her books and her online persona reflect her witty, dry sense of humour and I always have a blast reading everything she writes. As someone who doesn’t usually enjoy reading YA (don’t kill me! it’s just not for me!), I was shocked at how much I adored her Finishing School series when I checked them out. That’s what makes a great author — you can love their books just as much when they’re writing in a genre that isn’t your usual bag! One of the many, many things I love about her books is how they’re full of women who are allowed to be traditionally “girly” without getting penalized badass points for it. That’s something we’re really lacking in this genre.
Favourite Book: Curtsies & Conspiracies
I advise everyone to check out these authors and their catalogues! They’re all big favourites of mine and I’m staking my reputation on their good-ness! I hope that someday, someone feels the same affection and loyalty towards my body of work as I do to these five.