A few weeks ago I got rid of all my books, big, black shelves of them, over a hundred and fifty books. I kept six. Four Robin McKinley books, two Terry Pratchetts.
I had books like Artemis Fowl and The Black Cauldron, the entire Percy Jackson series, three out of seven Harry Potter books, a good seventy five percent of the innumerable Redwall books, three books by Gail Carson Levine, and Gregory Macguire’s book about Cinderella’s stepsisters.
All I kept were the Robin McKinley books–and not all of them, I owned eight, I think, and kept four–and my two Terry Pratchetts, the Wee Free Men and Good Omens.
(I got rid of my books because we’re getting rid of everything and traveling the world, setting up businesses and leaving them to be run by employees, from Barbados to Paris to Tibet.)
I don’t know why I kept those books. I like Robin McKinley’s worldbuilding, and her prose, and her characters. I like Terry Pratchett’s humor and characters and world and his brutal practicality, his startling injections of people’s hearts and minds into his stories.
Maybe I like them because they’re the only books on my bookshelf that could probably have been shelved in the Adult section in the library. Maybe I’ve grown out of the kids’ fantasy I’ve been reading my whole life.
Maybe they’re just good writers.
I want to write with Robin McKinley’s grasp of world and prose, and Terry Pratchett’s practical, real characters.
Perhaps someday I will.