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