Last week I talked about three amazing women who are my writing community colleagues and friends. This week I’m going to share three women who I wish were my author friends because I think they’re the absolute coolest. I’ve actually met two of them in real life – and yes, I fangirled SO freaking hard.
What thriller author doesn’t fangirl over Gillian? She’s who we all want to be when we grow up. I met her at an event way back when I first started writing and stammered something about how much I loved Gone Girl and how I wanted to write books with dark and twisted female characters too. She was so kind to me even though I was a nervous wreck, and I thought of that brief interaction often to buoy myself up when I was struggling to finish my first couple of manuscripts. Now my book with dark and twisted female characters comes out in less than two weeks!
I got to fangirl over Rainbow in person just a few weeks ago when I had the good fortune to be seated behind her at a Broadway show. It was such a thrill to meet her, because I’ve admired her for so long. I think it surprises people sometimes when I say what a huge Rainbow Rowell fan I am, because I write dark things about awful people, while her books are much lighter and the characters are on the whole good and decent human beings. But there’s a lot of darkness in her work too – don’t let the brightly-colored covers fool you! – and I am completely in awe of how deftly she handles serious topics, how precisely she paints her characters and their complex emotions. No matter what genre you write, you can learn a lot from the characterization and psychological layers in Rainbow’s work.
I have not had the good fortune of meeting Leigh (yet) but she is probably the #1 author I fangirl over. Not only are her books so good it makes me angry (the characters and the worldbuilding and the plotting HOW does she do it all so well??) but she seems like the coolest person in real life. She’s always saying incredible, inspiring things on social media, not just about writing but also about body image (I could write a whole other post on how much her badass plus size heroine Nina Zenik means to me) and living with chronic pain. On days when my own chronic pain makes it feel like a sustainable writing career is impossible, seeing Leigh thrive and accomplish so much gives me hope. Also she dresses like a beautiful sorceress, and her Instagram has inspired many a goth jewelry-shopping spree for me. Seriously THE COOLEST.