I hate being asked to name my favorite author, actor, musician; you name it. Invariably, I feel compelled to qualify my answer in some way. For instance, I might respond, “In which genre?” Yes, I have favorites in different genres and sub-genres for the matter. Here though, I will pick one and attempt to support my choice.
The first two names coming to mind were Mark Twain and Robert Heinlein.
They were my favorites for a couple of reasons. Mark Twain wrote in a fashion that made the young me feel as if I was there. I could live his stories through his writing. Robert Heinlein was a favorite for similar reasons, the fact he wrote science fiction was the biggest reason he is in my top ten or so fiction authors.
The difference that makes me say Mark Twain, legally Samuel Longhorne Clemmons, is my favorite is a bias I guess. I could see myself on a raft with Tom Sawyer floating down the river. His stories may not have been true, but they were plausible.
Robert Heinlein’s stories and books were pure fiction. No one lived the lives of his characters. Certainly, there were plenty of others, like me, wishing we could live such a life. However, he could write in a way that let me be a part of the story, just like Twain.
Both Twain and Heinlein, along with many other writers, expressed their thoughts in ways that allowed them to paint a picture for the reader, a picture one could almost feel. That, unfortunately, seems to be fading away because it can be “wordy.”
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