authors · books · Writing

(Some of) my literary idols

Disclaimer: There are literally thousands, tens of thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands of authors who have fantastic prose, worlds, ethics, and lifestyles that due to the limited number of hours in a day and years in a life I will never come to know. I wish I was immortal, but alas, this is based on my own (very limited) world view.

Before the Indie Revolution struck, my writing idols were (and they still are) Isobelle Carmody and Sara Douglass, who are two Australian fantasy authors. They both have very successful careers that in Sara’s case spanned decades, and hopefully Isobelle’s will span many more. I “met” Isobelle in 1998, when I was 12 or 13 and found her first book, Obernewtyn,in the school library. It had a frankly horrible cover, but I picked it up anyway, and got sucked into her world. I found Sara a year or two later when I stumbled across BattleAxe in that same school library. I’ve been fans of both ever since, and was extremely saddened by Sara’s untimely death in 2011 from cancer.

I’ve always looked up to both authors. They’re both quite prolific, but have a rather different approach. Sara always struck me as a bit more “business-like”, if you will. She’d start a series, and then publish a book every year or two until it was finished. Then she’d start a new series.

Isobelle seems to follow her muse a bit more. Her first book, Obernewtyn, was published in 1987. She started writing it in 1972. That series still isn’t finished. The next 6 books were published at intervals ranging from 3 years to almost 10 years. In the meantime she’s published six standalone novels, started four other series (totaling ten published books), and three collections of short stories.

Isobelle splits her time between Prague (her partner is Czech) and her house on the Great Ocean Rd, sort of near where I grew up. I love reading her insights and blog posts. She’s very much an artist.

Sara had an amazing garden. I often enjoyed reading her posts about her garden and her quest towards self-sufficiency. I love to garden and can’t wait to have one of my own (only so much you can accomplish with pot plants on a balcony).

I always thought I’d like to be a mix of both of them.

Since sticking my feet in the Indie pool about a year ago, I’ve been exposed to some amazing people.

Elle Casey amazes me with her hard work and mad prolific skills. She writes and publishes a full-length each month. Each and every month. That’s amazing. And they’re good too. She also lives in the south of France with her family. Awesome much?

Hugh Howey writes great stories. He’s found great success as well, and he’s also an amazingly nice guy! He hasn’t let the fame and success go to his head at all, and he’s still really nice and helpful, genuine and humble. If we’re being honest, I have a bit of an author-crush on him!

There are many, many other authors who hang out at the Writer’s Café at Kboards who are extremely nice, helpful and inspiring – this post would be ridiculously long if I named them all. It’s always uplifting when another author announces that they’re now making more than enough money from their writing to quit their day job and follow their dreams of writing full-time. I hope to follow in their footsteps one day, not too far away!


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