Friday Fun: Inspiring Authors and Would you rather…?

Happy Friday!

I’m kind of excited about this weekend. Tonight my neighbors and I are having a fun little Wine Walk block party. My house is the last stop on the journey, which means I get to serve desserts (chocolate pretzel twists, Avalanche Bars, and pumpkin cookies [no link for these; I buy the cookie dough from my milkman--cheater!]). I’ve also got Apricot Ale and delish JFJ Sparkling Almond Wine–my favorite! Tomorrow, my girlie and I are having a super lazy day at home with movies and pedicures, and on Sunday we’re taking Mimi (my husband’s mom) to a Mad Hatter Tea Party at our local bakery. So fun!

But first, a Friday Five with Paper Hangover:

This is hard! There are so many amazing authors who’ve influenced and inspired me over the years. I had to go with six (I know, I know…). Here they are, in no particular order…

1. Beverly Cleary – Ramona! Ramona, Ramona, Ramona. I grew up with this precocious girl, and oh my goodness, did I adore her. Actually, I kind of wanted to be her. I wanted a big sister like Beezus, a best friend like Howie, and a neighborhood like Klickitat Street. I remember going to the hairdresser with my mom and asking to have my hair cut like Ramona. Now, I read the Ramona books to my daughter. She’s equally smitten.

2. Melina Marchetta – Sigh. An author whose work I love with a passion that borders on embarrassing. Her books absolutely gut me. (Jellicoe Road is my favorite young adult novel EVER.) Her characters get inside me and stay there (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I totally want to name a future son Jonah :)). Her worlds, her writing, the complex plots and character relationships she builds and always brings full circle… Wow.

3. JK Rowling – I have a feeling the creator of Harry Potter has inspired just about every aspiring middle grade and young adult author. What a success story! Many credit her with helping a whole generation fall in love with fiction (fantasy, even!). I watched the interview she did with Oprah last year and was blown away by her creativity and brilliance, not to mention her humility and sense of humor. Such a class act.

4. Gayle Forman – If I Stay was the first YA book I read that made me think: I want to write like THAT. So emotional and beautiful and perfect. And Where She Went… Best. Follow-up. Ever. Plus, I find Gayle Forman to be a social media rock star. She’s incredibly eloquent and strikes me as thoughtful and intelligent. Also, when she recommends a book on her blog or Twitter, I know it will be good.

5. Judy Blume – I was (AM!) such a fan of BlubberJust as Long as We’re TogetherTales of a Fourth Grade NothingAre You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Forever… Somehow Judy Blume manages to write for a large age span with such a perfectly authentic voice. Her books are moving no matter how silly the subject matter happens to be, and totally timeless. Who can’t relate to Margaret, or Katherine, or Stephanie at some point in their lives?

6. Jodi Picoult – Such a prolific author, one who knows her niche and embraces it. Her books are incredibly well-researched and usually spark political, moral,  or ethical debate which, I think, is one sign of a powerful story. They’re also widely appealing. I read my first Jodi Picoult book in high school and loved it, and still find her work to be exceptional.

So, those are six authors who’ve inspired me. I’m curious… which authors inspire you?

And an incredibly profound Would you rather…?

Would you rather have a lifetime supply of ice cream, or a lifetime supply of chocolate?

(And NO, you can’t combine and have chocolate ice cream! Have fun mulling THAT one over!)

See you on Monday for a Debut Love post… Have a wonderful weekend!

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26 responses to “Friday Fun: Inspiring Authors and Would you rather…?

  1. Lifetime supply of chocolate!! :)

    Oh wow. Sounds like you have a fantastic weekend planned. Enjoy it. Make some awesome memories with your sweet one. That’s what it’s all about, right?

    I remember Are You There God?…I just didn’t remember who the author was. NICE!!!!

  2. The wine walk sounds fun, and the pretzels look awesome! Great list of authors.

  3. For me, it’s JK Rowling. I dont have others, because I dont know their life stories as much, even though i like their books. Personally, to be inspiring, there has to be a journey, and Rowling’s journey was a motivating one.

    AND I would rather have a lifetime supply of chocolates. I’m not a big fan of ice cream anyways.

  4. First things first: lifetime supply of ice cream.
    I somehow messed up the prompt for today’s Friday Fives, but if I had gotten it right my list would be very similar to yours! Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary were my favorite authors as a kid, and Gayle Forman is one of my favorite authors today. J. K. Rowling is simply amazing.
    Have a fun weekend!

  5. Yay to #1 – I LOVED the Ramona books!

    I may be in the minority, but I don’t like ice cream (crazy, I know!) so I guess chocolate. Although I actually love salty snacks more so I’ll invent a third choice :)

    Have fun on your Wine Walk!

  6. I daresay Rowling will crop up on just about everyone’s list. People often talk about how she inspired a generation of reader–but she also inspired a generation of writers!

  7. That’s a great list and I would much rather ice cream.

  8. Obviously, I would pick ice cream.

    And RAMONA! I love those books. I’ve read them like fifty times and I’ve since developed a huge crush on Henry Huggins <3

    Also, I've been inspired by like EVERY author on this list, except I haven't read Jodi Picoult (yet). And yeah, we've been MAJORLY inspired by JK Rowling, us writerly types.

    • Isn’t Ramona the greatest?! I adore the movie that came out last summer… my daughter and I both love to watch it. And yes, JK is a perfect example of how to do it RIGHT. :)

  9. No brainer. Lifetime supply of chocolate.

    Have fun with the block party! And the pedicures! And everthing! Sounds like you have a fabulous weekend planned!

  10. I was all set to say ice cream with no hesitation until I saw that you couldn’t have chocolate ice cream flavours– what?! Those are only the best ones! So I guess I’m going with chocolate. Have a great weekend, it sounds like it should be a tonne of fun.

  11. I have some of the same choices on my list :) Jellicoe Road is coming in the mail sometime next week and I’m super excited about that (I’ve heard many, many good things about it)! We’d both be nutjobs not to have J. K. Rowling on this list. Great choices!

    • I can’t wait to hear what you think of JELLICOE ROAD… let me know immediately! And yes, I think JK Rowling is a huge inspiration to both writers and readers. Love her!

  12. omg almond flavored sparkling wine? I WISH I WAS YOUR NEIGHBOR.

    As always, you have amazing taste in inspiring authors :)

    I’d rather have a lifetime supply of chocolate. Though if the choice was between cheese and chocolate? CHEESE.

    • Ha! I wish you WERE my neighbor, Sara! I think we’d have quite a lot of fun together, plus, we could share books! And cheese… YES! I think I might choose Brie and crackers over ice cream most days.

  13. Chocolate. For sure. Not even a question.

    That wine walk sounds like so much fun! I would love to live in a fun neighborhood like that! I hope it was a blast.

    Happy weekend!

  14. Chocolate for me… though if it’s Ben & Jerry’s, that’s a little more challenging.

    Gayle Forman is so inspiring, isn’t she? I’d give my space bar to write like that.

    I’ve been reading some contemporary lately — feeling inspired by Sarah Dessen.