2) Hans Christian Andersen. I have a lot in common with this guy, and after reading the full collection of his fairytales, I came to admire not only the beauty and magic of his stories, but also the way he brought deeper meaning, often religious in nature, into them.
3) Neal Shusterman. This author is another one whose worldbuilding I look up to. It's complex and thoughtful and makes me see the world differently. I also admire his creativity in coming up with strange and unique premises for all his books, which include the Unwind Dystology, Challenger Deep, and the ongoing Arc of a Scythe trilogy.
5) Rick Riordan. The hit author of a giant collection of MG/YA mythological retellings offers a lot to admire, but I appreciate most the incredible amount of creativity he shows in adapting these myths to the modern day. He's also totally hilarious, as exemplified by his portrayal of Apollo, who now has his own ongoing series.
6) Victoria Schwab. She's a fantasy author of both YA and adult fiction (as V.E. Schwab), and she is phenomenal. A rising star in the literary world, Victoria Schwab's books all have this strange twist to their atmosphere, a lingering ache that exists even in the happy moments. She also excels at characterization. My current favorite by her is the Monsters of Verity duology.
8) Wilkie Collins. Lately I've been reading through his novels, and the more I read, the more impressed I become. Despite being a white man living in the 1800s, Wilkie Collins was super woke. He was better at portraying women and disabled people than a lot of writers are today, and most of his books have strong social justice messages. I most admire him for those social messages as well as his realistic and complex characterization/voice, which may be best seen in The Moonstone.
9) Rae Carson. One of my favorite series is the Fire and Thorns trilogy. There's so much I love about Rae Carson's writing there: the character development across the books, the inclusion of religion, and the way she depicts the complexities of romance. Fire and Thorns is a very "me" story, and I'd love to be able to write something like it someday.
11) Suzanne Collins. The author of The Hunger Games trilogy proved herself not only able to write a socially and politically relevant story, but also an exciting one with clear voice and relatable characterization. Her ability with voice in particular is something I wish to emulate. Unfortunately, she hasn't released any books since.
12) Margaret Peterson Haddix. This is the author who introduced me to sci-fi, which eventually became my favorite genre to read. What I admire most about her writing is that she makes the speculative aspects of her books (which are usually MG sci-fi) accessible to her audience, but also exciting and complex. Check out The Missing series, for example.
14) Maggie Stiefvater. I've often referred to Maggie Stiefvater as "a force of nature," and I still think that to be true. She consistently writes strange, magical stories that captivate tons of readers. As with many of the authors of this list, I admire her creativity and her ability to create a truly atmospheric story. The Raven Cycle is a great example of that.
15) Tahereh Mafi. The Shatter Me series, which has recently been continued, absolutely shattered me (ha ha) when I first read it. What I admire most about Tahereh Mafi's writing is the artistic way she plays with prose and formatting, much like what E.E. Cummings and Lucille Clifton, my two favorite poets, did with poetry. Something about that affects me emotionally to an incredible degree.
17) Rin Chupeco. Rin Chupeco is on here for much the same reason as Nova Ren Suma and Maggie Stiefvater: she writes phenomenally strange stories (like the ongoing The Bone Witch series) that possess incredible beauty in their creativity. For all that I'm a dreamer, I'm still a pretty conventional thinker. I wish I could just begin to taste the unearthliness that these authors play with in their stories.
Who are your favorite authors and/or writing idols? What do you love most about them? Let me know, and I'll be back next week with my top YA books of 2010.
Images via josiefaith11 on Redbubble, azquotes.com, [mine], azquotes.com, behappy.me, and azquotes.com.