This week’s topic is about our favorite authors and who we think are the great authors of today. To be honest, I’ve been dreading this post all week. I don’t have a favorite author. At least not in the sense that I visit the person’s website once a day and stalk them on Twitter. Heck, I don’t even have a favorite book. I read a lot. I read often. My “favorite” book is whichever one I’m currently carrying around and obsessively reading (which happens to be Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward).
As for “great authors of today”? Please. That’s too subjective. One would first have to determine the criteria for a great author. Success in the writing industry means different things for different people. Sure, most of us aim to write a best seller and make a nice chunk of change. But I do know of one author who told me they don’t want their book to be popular, they want it to get banned! Of course in my opinion, all press is good press.
But what, then, makes a great author? Their skill in the craft? Writing a classic literary piece that children study in their English Comp. classes for decades to come? Is it an author that challenges society and forces them to look at the flaws of the word, like Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
Or is it the sales that make an author great? Is it the ability to write an entertaining piece that captures the attention of many, in a world where reading is a fading past-time replaced by television, video games, and the internet?
The problem is that “successful” authors are the exception, and they are too often contradictory to what a successful author is supposed to be like. Ahem. I don’t think I need to mention Stephenie Meyer, but there are others too. In my opinion, Laurell K. Hamilton and L.A. Banks can join Stephanie Meyer in the “bad, yet successful” pile.
I think what makes a truly great author is one who has proven his skill to be worthy AND has topped the Best Sellers charts. I can think of only one such person. Someone who crafts flawless, breathtaking, mind-blowing, works of art. Someone whose novels I’ve read and would recommend to everyone.
This man is Sci-Fi writer Orson Scott Card, author of the famous Ender’s Game series, and countless other Fantasy novels, including one of my favorites, Enchantment.
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Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, both won Hugo and Nebula Awards. Card has also written multiple screenplays, biblical novels, American frontier novels, poetry, “How to” books for writers, and teaches writing workshops and seminars.
Yes, I do believe Card has gone above and beyond Great Author status and is a truly rare genius of the craft. Tell me, readers, are you a Card fan? An Ender's Game fan? Who do you believe is the greatest author of our times, or, who are your favorite authors?