This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
For many of us, this is almost an impossible question to answer, isn't it? It could be we have favourites for a variety of situations – sometimes you want romance, at other times you want a thriller, often you might find yourself in search of cosy. Or perhaps a book you really love may have been the only one its author has written. Would they still be classed as your favourite author? Not to mention the new writers appearing all the time – sometimes a debut can blow us away. How on earth are we supposed to choose?
Despite this, when someone asks you this question, with a moment of thought you'll often find a specific author pops into your head. You'll look at your bookshelves and see many books by one particular writer take pride of place. You've bought both the paperbacks and the hardbacks and read them so many times the spines are cracked and the pages are worn – all the signs are there.
I asked my Novelicious colleagues, curious after this interview with Barbara Taylor Bradford, which Debs was enormously excited about as Barbara is one of her favourites, and this is what they told me.
1. Maeve Binchy – Chosen by Susan without any hesitation. Maeve has written books such as Circle of Friends, Quentins, Tara Road and Chestnut Street – the latter published this year after her death in 2012. If you've never read Maeve, start at the beginning with Light A Penny Candle. You're in for a treat.
2. Stephen King – Favoured by Amanda and Kerry, who are both a lot braver than me, Stephen King is the King (ha!) of contemporary horror. He has written 50 or so novels, many of which have been made into films. Amanda thinks anything he has written is spectacular and Kerry is in awe of his writing and his no-nonsense attitude to work. Check out It, Carrie, Misery and so many more along with his memoir/writing book On Writing, which many authors have cited here as the book that changed their lives.
3. Tess Gerritsen – A favourite of Kay, who describes her as "amazing". She says: "I love her writing – even her earlier romance thrillers are fabulous and she struggled to get those published!" I too am a big fan of Tess's thrillers, particularly the Rizzoli and Isles series, and have many in hardback including a signed one from the time I met her at a talk at a bookshop. I found her incredibly inspiring. I haven't, however, read any of her earlier romantic thrillers such as Call After Midnight, Under the Knife and Whistleblower, so after Kay's recommendation, I'm giving them a go.
4. Marian Keyes – Marian is an amazing writer. Jennifer named her as one of her favourites. So many of us adore her and can relate to many aspects of the stories she writes and the characters, too. She sprang to our attention with Watermelon about the first of the Walsh sisters, Claire. Since then, she has written many other novels, a book of collected journalism called Under the Duvet, and a recipe book called Saved by Cake.
5. Dorothy Koomson – Dorothy is Jennifer's other favourite. She has published many novels in the last decade including the delicious and gorgeous sounding The Chocolate Run, Marshmallows for Breakfast, Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach.
6. Susan Hill – She of the The Woman in Black fame – one of the scariest and most chilling books out there that I dare not read. Kerry, however, loves Susan Hill, and says she writes beautifully. Susan's books have a gothic style to them and she creates wonderful, spine-chilling atmospheres.
7. Daphne du Maurier – Kerry also loves Daphne du Maurier, who she believes does not get enough recognition. Daphne is the author of Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek among others.
8. JK Rowling – I know this is a cliche, but in the last decade I think JK Rowling has been the writer to give me the most pleasure. I adore Harry Potter. I was full of admiration when I read the final one and saw how it was all constructed by the author. I also loved The Cuckoo's Calling – written by JK's pseudonym, Robert Galbraith.
9. Lucy Robinson – Cressida has two favourites. Lucy Robinson is the first as she is amazing, funny and romantic. Cressida cannot wait for her next book to be released, which is The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me. She has also written A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger and The Greatest Love Story of All Time.
10. Sharon Bolton – Cressida's other favourite is crime novelist Sharon Bolton. I have just bought Now You See Me on Cressida's recommendation. Her fourth book in the same series, A Dark and Twisted Tide, is out May 8.
Of course, this is still just a sprinkling of our very favourite authors (we didn't want to keep you all day). Now it's over to you. Who are you favourites?