Monday, March 28, 2011

Dead Authors I Would Like to have a Conversation With

As a longtime author, I have had the pleasure to meeting face to face or through the Internet and phone many authors of prominence , as well as those lesser known.
I was thinking to myself the day: If I were able to travel back in time and have a conversation with authors I have admired who are no longer among the living, who might they be?

Given that there are many writers I have admired or been inspired by over the years, narrowing these down to say, ten or so, is not easy. But I wanted to not only keep the number reasonable, but also zoom in on dead authors who most left an impression on me--be it by their style, personality, genre, success, or other feature that defined the writer.

Without going into detail on choices or necessarily placing in order, here are the ten deceased writers I would most like to converse with over a cup of tea or coffee:

1. Daphne du Maurier -- I love her novels, particularly Rebecca, and the times in which she wrote them.

2. Thomas Hardy -- his novels and short stories are marvelous, with Tess of the d'Urbervilles, one of my all time favorites.

3. Dashiell Hammett has long been a favorite of mine with his hardboiled novels, such as The Thin Man, inspiring other novelists who followed.

4. Chester Himes was great with his crime and mystery novels, many dealing with racism--with If He Hollers Let Him Go an interesting read and better than the movie adaptation.

5. Jane Austen wrote some wonderful romance novels, some of which I have also enjoyed the screen adaptations, such as Pride and Prejudice.

6. Charles Dickens was certainly a terrific English writer during the Victorian era, with A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield two of his best works. I especially enjoyed the first version of the former as a movie as well.

7. H.G. Wells, the great English author of science fiction novels, with The Time Machine one of my favorite all time novels and movies.

8. Sidney Sheldon wrote a number of good novels of romance and suspense, often featuring strong females. I especially liked The Other Side of Midnight. Would be nice to talk to him as well about one of my favorite TV shows he created, I Dream of Jennie.

9.Katherine Woodiwiss---I've enjoyed her historical romance and romantic suspense novels, as has my wife, such as Petals on the River.

10. Mark Twain--who wouldn't want to meet him and ask about the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, controversies and all?

If you could go back in time to have a conversation with some of your favorite authors, who would they be? What would you like to say?


X. Dell said...

As I read this post, earlier today, I was thinking of my top ten dead author I'd like to talk to list. I deliberately didn't read your list (I stopped after the second paragraph) to see how many authors we have in common.

Answer: one. And I bet you can guess which one.

Charles Gramlich said...

Robert E. Howard would be one. Kipling. John D. Macdonald, Louis L'amour. I could think of more I'm sure.

Devon Vaughn Archer said...

X. Dell, my guess would be Jane Austen, followed by Daphne du Maurier??? -- Devon

Jewel Amethyst said...

Sidney Sheldon would definitely top my list. He is one of my favorite authors of all times. Phyllis Whitney would be another, as would Enid Blyton.

X. Dell said...

No, Mr. Archer, but now that I think about it, you might know me better than I know myself:-)

I've actually visited Ms. Austen in person, at her grave, so I could say we have already come into contact.