My favourite author of all time is Stephen King. He is a master of storytelling, and I stand in awe of the different stories/characters/plots that he puts into each book. His stories are more often than not set in his home state of Maine, and each novel sometimes refers back to other events from his previous novels. This makes te reader feel at home, as if they too are part of the small town gossip, I believe that this involvement of the reader is the key to his success. I read his novels as a teenager – Carrie, Salem’s Lot, Misery. When I had my children, reading went onto the backburner of life. Now that my children are older and less dependent on me, I have rediscovered my love of reading, and have embraced Mr King’s novels again. To me, there are like putting on an old pair of comforting slippers, as he draws you into his stories, and never forgets that you are there. Recent favourites of mine include Insomnia, Bag of Bones, Rose Madder, Dr Sleep, Under the dome and 22/11/63 (this time travel one I loved!). Stephen King’s books also led me to enjoy British horror writers such as James Herbert and Graham Masterton, who I still love to this day.
Another favourite is Wilbur Smith. His Egyptian sagas River God and The Seventh Scroll stand out as very enjoyable reads. I just loved the tale of the Egyptian princess and her slave navigating down the River Nile in order to find its source. The sequel to this The Seventh Scroll, is set in modern times and in the Egyptian period. The modern story involves treasure hunters that are searching for lost Egyptian gold and treasures at the very spot where it has been hidden over 2,000 years previously. I haven’t read any other books by Mr Smith however, and I know they are set in Africa, but these two novels are stand outs for me.
In my youth, I was also very fond of Catherine Cookson novels. They were all set in the north of England, namely Yorkshire and were set arounf the people living in the 19th century. The novels emphasis the harshness of lives living near the coal pits; the poverty and disillusionment of many people enduring cold and bleak existences whilst trying to feed families, work long hours in the pits, and survive. The novels usually focus on one main character, a female, and the harshness of her life set around the cold, bleak Yorkshire moors. I loved the way she wrote, and learnt a lot about how people lived in those days, before votes, rights, benefits, or the comforts of modern living.
My favourite childhood author is CS Lewis and his stories set in Narnia. I had the whole collection of these stories, and my favourite is the most popular one, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Fabulous childhood stories of fantastic mythical creatures such as fauns and fairies, before Harry Potter came along with his wizards. I have also read all the Harry Potter books, and find then lovely reading for both adults and children alike. The Narnia tales will always have a special place though, as being a part of my childhood.