If you've been keeping an eye on my page you'll have noticed my last post was about my 5 hero authors. Or rather two of the 5--Tamora Pierce and Joan Lowery Nixon. I was originally going to do all this in one post, but as you'll see or have seen, I just have too much to say about all 5 of these goddesses of literacy and how they inspire and ignite my imagination and my writing.
Today we're taking a look at Meg Cabot and L.J. Smith.
Meg Cabot aka Jenny Carol--Goddess of YA Ghosts and Princesses
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Meg back in October at the Baltimore Book Fest when she came in to sit on a panel or two and talk about her amazing books! I went just for the chance to meet her! And I was NOT disappointed. Meg was so open, and funny and friendly and willing to talk to you, even when she had to leave or had others waiting to talk to her. Meg is the author of over 50 books, but I'm only focusing of on two of her series, right now at least. Not that I haven't read a lot of her other books, because I have.
And here's a funny fact, I first read Meg, not realizing it was her. How is that you ask? Simple: She had a series, The Mediator, published under the name Jenny Carol. And that series is by far my favorite of everything she's written. Now one thing you're going to notice about all five of my hero authors is that I'm gonna say their books are the first ones that I read of those genres that stuck with me and made me love reading. And Meg is no different. Now I admit, I can't remember which I read first, but both of these book series have done the the same thing for me. The Mediator series was not the first paranormal I read, but IT WAS THE FIRST GHOST STORY that I read that I just fell in love with. And I'm not only talking about the hottest ghost to ever grace the pages of a YA series, Jesse. There are just so many reasons why the Mediator is still one of my favorite YA series, for me to mention, but I'll try... after I tell you about the second of Meg's series that has stuck with me. The Princess Diaries was the first YA contemporary series I ever read (and if I can say, one of only 7 that I have read and liked over the last 15 years) and loved so much. They were brilliant and funny and it was so easy for me to relate to Mia--even though I'm only a princess in my head--I could still relate to what she was feeling and the personal things she went through. I also liked that everything in the Princess Diaries series just flowed so well together over EACH book of the series, and that saying something of a 10 book series. But oh wait....Meg's just announced that she's going to be returning to Mia's world with 2, that's right, 2 new books in that universe.
Needless to say I am crazy anticipating reading these two new books to see just how well Meg weaves these new tales in to the original series.
And speaking of new books by Meg Cabot, Meg told me back in October that the Mediator series is being re-launched! ***SQUEEEEEE*** But wait, they're being re-launched because she written a NEW BOOK IN THE SERIES!!! **Insert freak out white girl happy dance around my house**
The reason the Mediator is so amaze-balls to me because again, the world building, the plot and characters were so expertly done, so tight and well woven together you can't not remember them and fall in love with Suze and Jesse. Right from book One I was cheering for Suze to find a way to have Jesse come back to life so they could be together.
Just like Tammy and Joan, Meg is a master of building tension, worlds, characters and intricate stories.
Speaking of Masters: Here's the next of my 5 hero authors.
L.J. Smith-- Goddess of YA Paranormal and Vampires
Most people, now a days, especially younger readers, only know L.J. Smith because of the Vampire Diaries TV show. Honestly the only reason I watched the first few seasons (a year or two after they started airing) was because I heard Meg was involved in the script writing. Can't say I'm the biggest fan of the series, especially after I heard what happened to her when she said she wouldn't write the characters the way her "bosses" wanted. But you can read more about that here.
L.J. is the author of over 30 novels, and that's not including her smack in the face to Alloy stories that she self pub bed and sold on amazon's new platform. But again you'll read about that in the link above.
Of those over 30 books L.J. created many series that area wonderful, and catching and perfect in my opinion. Here is my top 3. But I am telling you there are in no set order because if you asks me today, tomorrow and the day after, which is my top of the three, each day will be a different answer. 1) The Forbidden Game Series 2) The Night World series 3) The Secret Circle series.
You'll notice I didn't include TVD, that's because of all she's written, they are my least favorite--not that they're bad, I just didn't like the TVD vampires and story as much as I do her Night World Vamps and story arcs.
Like my other hero goddess authors, and many other great authors I love, L.J. is a genius at building worlds and characters that are not only believable but also so well written that you can easily connect with all the characters and imagine yourself in those situations that the characters go through. But more than that I can still remember almost perfectly the events of The Forbidden game books, and that's for one very good reason: IT WAS JUST SO REAL! A lot of books are good at pulling you in, but the Forbidden Game, especially the first book, felt so real that I was terrified of one of Julian's brethren--The Shadow Men--lived in my a closet in my Grandpa's basement and that they would try and suck me in if I got too close. Also, the entire first book of the series is about Jenny and the other characters having to face their worst nightmares, their fears. The fears they had to over come were not the stereo typical fears a lot of writers use. There were facing off swarms of bee's covering your body, fading out of existence, fear of technology and losing the one person you love the most. (Okay maybe that last one is a bit typical, but the way L.J. wrote it was so different and terrifying.)
As a writer and reader I appreciate L.J.'s work on a lot of levels, but as a writer I really admire the way she can make things real and the way she makes me care for all her characters and root for them, especially with her Night World series when we continue to get to see couples and characters even after their books are done.
And one last thing I'd like to say and give L.J. props for: Not being afraid to not give the characters a Happily Ever After. When I first read that particular book in the Night World series I was upset at first, but then a year or so later I read it again and I got it. And no one has ever been able to do that to me since. I think I would die if I ever got to meet L.J. Smith, but man would I die happy! After I got her to sign several of her books (that I still have 15-13 years later) that are my fav's.
Okay that's enough fan girling for today, let me tell you about the hero author who's going to be featured in part 3 of this post series: Cate Tiernan.
<3 always LH