Friday, November 13, 2009

Who would make you go fan-girl?

Meg Cabot posted a delicious link to a Mary Stewart fan site I'd never seen:

http://www.marystewartnovels.com/novels/

Just browsing through the titles made me giddy. I LOVE those books. It started when I was about 12--I found a battered copy of WILDFIRE AT MIDNIGHT in a box of my mother's, ready to go to the library sale. I snuck it out and devoured it in a couple hours.

I was in love. Reader-love.

I quickly hunted down every book of hers I could find: read, re-read, treasured. I remember the moment, reading THE MOON-SPINNERS, when I first felt what it *might* be like to fall in love, that giddy sense that all the world is possible.

I walked around the house repeating to myself "Bryony...Bryony...Bryony Ashley", the opening lines to TOUCH NOT THE CAT.

I drove two hours to see Lipizzaner stallions two decades later because of AIRS ABOVE THE GROUND. I still want to sit with my back against Hadrian's Wall (which is where the name "Adrian" happens to come from, by the way) like Mary Grey did in THE IVY TREE or visit the caves and crashing surf on Corfu.

And that's not even touching the Merlin novels. I've probably read THE CRYSTAL CAVE ten times, and all the others at least three or four.

Her books--the combination of adventure, love, a touch of magic, and a smart, strong heroine--helped to shape me, who I am today. Who I try to be as a writer.

If I ever had the chance to meet Mary Stewart, I don't think I would be able to speak. I think I would melt utterly into a fan-girl puddle of worship and not come to my senses for a couple hours after she was gone, shaking her head.

I bet most writers have someone like that who inspired them, who is a real hero/heroine. Share the admiration. Who would make you lose your little writer/reader mind if you met them?

12 comments:

Tiffany Schmidt said...

Do they have to be alive? I'm going to vote No and continue with my answer: Louisa May Alcott.

I still have a beautiful hardcover edition of Little Women that an aunt gave me when I was eight. The pages are edged with gold paint and it was almost too pretty to read. But once I did...

The local librarians were angelic -- requesting copies of Eight Cousins, Under the Lilacs, and Rose in Bloom from other branches. The books were old and smelled of mildew. The librarians apologized and I *beamed*.

When my college offered a course in her adult works, I just about *danced* through registration.

Linda G. said...

<3 <3 <3 I LOVE Mary Stewart. Dang, now I have to go dig up my old Mary Stewart books.

Susan Adrian said...

Tiff:

Does NOT have to be alive. Don't you love those writer-crushes? Louisa May Alcott also rocks.

Linda: Knew I liked you. :)

Sharon Mayhew said...

I fell in love with a book by Crescent Dragonwagon in the early 90's. It is called Homeplace. I sponsored a school-wide art week because of the book. I read the book over the intercom to the whole school. I insisted they all have their heads down and their eyes closed. Afterwards, they all drew a scene from the book. Jerry Pinkney was the illustrator. Everytime I write I dream of him illustrating it.

Loretta Ross said...

J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings amazes me. I've read it dozens of times and still, each time I do, I find some little treasure that I'd overlooked or forgotten about. Compelling characters, epic battles set against a richly-drawn tapestry of history and language. The way he evoked the landscape and weather. Beautiful imagery and poetry. Sigh.

emilyhainsworth said...

Um...um...

Christopher Pike... OR Stephen King... OR Scott Westerfeld... okay, and if we're going to the grave, then BOTH the Bronte sisters. :) :)

*fangirl*

sdennard said...

Gasp! Mary Stewart was my favorite, too! Oh, the Moonspinners... Daring heroines and dashing heroes. My other favorites were Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin. Thanks for the great post bringing back the memories.

Cindy said...

Hi Susan!

Oh, that's easy. The first time I met Diana G, I couldn't speak. At all. The second time, I muttered something, flushed red and clumsy. The third time, I managed something like normal human interaction. (She's so nice)

I haven't read Mary Stewart. (I KNOW, right?) She's on my list. So The Crystal Cave is the place to begin?

Susan Adrian said...

Sharon: Aw, that's very cool! Sometimes an author or a book just *clicks* with you, y?

Loretta: Tolkien I never could get...but I've heard quite a few people like his stuff. ;)

Em: LOL. Of course you couldn't pick just one. Heh. I love that.

sdennard: Mary rocks!!

Susan Adrian said...

Sharon: Aw, that's very cool! Sometimes an author or a book just *clicks* with you, y?

Loretta: Tolkien I never could get...but I've heard quite a few people like his stuff. ;)

Em: LOL. Of course you couldn't pick just one. Heh. I love that.

sdennard: Mary rocks!!

Susan Adrian said...

Cindy: Yes, Diana flustered me completely the first year. I can actually have a fairly normal conversation with her now. :) As to Mary, if you're going for the Merlin series, you have to start with Crystal Cave. For her other books, I think any entry point would do. I love them all!

Rachel Simon said...

Dead: Like Tiffany, Louisa May Alcott. I wrote an entire book report on her in 5th grade because I adore Little Women THAT MUCH. I also go to school not far from Concord, where LMA grew up, but I don't have a car here so it is difficult to get there. (When my parents came up with the car, they thought it sounded boring. *sniff*)

Alive: Uh...I've already met a lot of authors and been a mess in front of them: Libba Bray, John Green, Megan McCafferty, Sarah Dessen, Kathryn Lasky, and Maggie Stiefvater, Maureen Johnson and I MISSED Suzanne Collins/Kristin Cashore. :(