I've never joined in the A-Z Challenge before, but with all the extra time on my hands this year I couldn't think of a reason why I shouldn't. If you'd like to join in the challenge of blogging a letter a day you can sign up here and the list of blogs participating is found here.
My subject today is...
Eclectic best describes my choices for favorite authors. Each has a unique way of telling a story, of drawing me in, of making the story come to life. Allow me to introduce you to a few of my favorites.
James Rollins is the pen name used by former veterinarian James Paul Czajkowski. Rollins is a master of the action-adventure/thriller genre. After penning several stand-alone adventures, he introduced readers to the Sigma Force in Black Order and has continued to lead his reader on 15 more wild, seemingly impossible, yet based on some scientific fact, missions to save the world.
He also co-wrote the Order of the Sanguines series with Rebecca Cantrell, an improbable, but thrilling trio of tales about a secret sect of vampire priests under the direction of the Vatican.
Rollins' books are consistently best sellers and the first Sigma Force book was to be made into a movie. There's been no word on why that fell through. It's a shame and I do hope Hollywood and Rollins reach an agreement one day as the Sigma Force novels would lend themselves well to action movies. Think Indiana Jones on steroids or Rambo with an advanced degree in science.
Fredrik Backman is a blogger, columnist, and writer from Sweden. He wrote the best selling A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, and its sequel, Us Against You.
None of these books actually sound all that exciting or interesting by plot description, but the magic lies in Backman's incredible gift for digging into the human psyche and creating complex characters that everyone can identify with. The reader experiences everything the characters do...bleakness, joy, hopelessness, hope, fear, loathing, uncertainty. Reading a Backman book is a rich and rare experience.
Janet Evanovich began her writing career using the pen name Steffie Hall and her books were the usual type of romance novel. Along the way, she found she was more interested in writing the action scenes than the sex scenes and evolved into writing romantic comedies under her own name with much success.
It was the Stephanie Plum series, however, that brought her to the top ranks of her genre. Stephanie is a Jersey girl who starts working as a bounty hunter for her despicable cousin and bail bondsman, Vinnie. Most of the time Stephanie plays the straight man to the crazy characters populating her life. The mysteries are fun, funny, and fast-paced reads. Perfect lighter reads to help you let go and unwind. Evanovich is doing something right as Stephanie has taken the reader on 26 laughter-filled adventures so far.
Evanovich also pens the Wicked series, the Fox & O'Hare series, and the Knight & Moon series...all rollicking good fun!
If you're looking for something to read and haven't read anything by any of these writers, give them a try. You can't go wrong!