When I was in 6th grade I picked up and read a book up in the school library called Citizen of the Galaxy, by Robert Heinlein. I loved it, and that started a lifelong love not only of Science Fiction, but of Robert Heinlein. Over the years I have found my life has been influenced by the ideas he developed in his many novels. He was definitely my favorite author.
In college I found The Hobbit and read it and the rest of the series, including The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkein. I loved these books as well.
One day a number of years ago I read, on the internet somewhere, a reference to a character named Lerris. I was intrigued enough by the description to do some research and I found out that he was the protagonist of a book called The Magic of Recluse, by L.E. Modesitt. That book was the first in a series called The Saga of Recluse, which has now grown to 15 books.
I now own every book of Mr. Modesitt's that is available in paperback (it's too hard to stuff a hardback book in my back pocket) and read most of them more than once. Some of them I've carted around and read enough times that I have had to replace my original copy with a new one.
I met him (Modesitt) last night :)
There is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention in town (Spokane, WA) this weekend on the campus of Gonzaga University, called SpoCon 2009. Mr. Modesitt is the "Guest of Honor". He and four other authors had a book signing event last night at Auntie's Book Store, a local independant. This event was scheduled at the last minute, and wasn't even mentioned in the morning "Local Events" segment on NPR. But a friend who knows I am a Modesitt fan found out about it and told me.
I got to spend a few minutes with Lee (I don't know what to call him now that I have met him, but he goes by Lee) and then he got busy signing and talking. So I spent almost two hours talking to his lovely wife Carol, an opera singer and famous in her own right, and the inspiration for her husband's Spellsong Cycle series.
I think I found out about as much about Lee from her as I would have from him, and had a delightful time doing it. She, by the way, is scheduled to sit on several panels during the convention, including one titled "How to feed an artist". Since he writes 12-15 hours a day, 7 days a week, I would think that would be a very approprite discussion.
Did I mention that he took Heinlein's place as my favorite author?
Lee Modesitt is the only living person, other than LDS church leaders, that I would go out of my way to meet. The two others that would have fit that description are Robert Heinlein, of course, and J.R.R. Tolkein, both of which have passed away.