|RL LaFevers (also known as Robin)
Why is this author my hero? Because she has a successful series in chapter books/lower middle grade, middle grade, and young adult categories (she writes young adult under the name Robin LaFevers)~ the age groups that I love to focus my own reading and writing on.
She's put in her dues in terms of working on her craft, and it's paid off in a big way. She queried agents and publishers before getting her break at a SCBWI conference, where super-agent Erin Murphy critiqued her manuscript for a contest. The rest is fantastic history :)
Why the massive crush? Because this is an author who I adore both for her pure writing ability AND for her career path. For me, Robin/RL is a perfect example of putting in tons of hours/hard work to build a career over time. And it's really great for fans who have been with her for awhile~ the young readers she first hooked with her Nathaniel Fludd series are now ready to devour her new YA series.
Finding your niche and executing it well, then being able to expand your interests/age groups and still sell books...well, that's the dream (by the way, I also love Sharon Creech's ability to write such a variety of single-title books, but that's a post for another day).
Ms. LaFevers is also a founder/contributor of Shrinking Violet Promotions, a blog dedicated to marketing for introverts. As an introvert, I really appreciate any guidance in this area. Since April of this year, the blog has been converted to a monthly column with Writer Unboxed, a blog about the craft and business of fiction.
If you're not following Writer Unboxed, get over there and correct that. The current post (written by Robin LaFevers) is:
Transformational Journeys: Working with Archetypes
Here are her websites:
RL LaFevers, Children's Author
Some of her books:
Nathaniel Fludd Series~
This series is a must read if you're looking to study an excellent voice in the category of chapter books/lower middle grade.
Even if you write for an older audience, I highly suggest buying one of the books in the series to keep as a reference on how to keep a plot moving with a minimum of words while really making your characters shine. I re-read these books from time to time because I tend to write long drafts that need to be stripped down to essential elements, plot points, and dialogue.
I mentioned the Theodosia series above. She's a great middle grade character, full of curiosity, bravery, intelligence and vulnerability.
His Fair Assassin Series~
Um...this YA series is about assassin nuns in medieval France. If you're not the slightest bit intrigued by that, then I'm not sure what else to tell you.
WHO DO YOU HAVE AN AUTHOR CRUSH ON?