My 10 of the last 10

the meske review top 10--authors

 

While the Meske Review is still an emerging authority on the world of literature, it has started influencing a new inner circle of literary enthusiasts.

With the holidays coming, I felt now was a good time to share my list of 10 leaders in the world of words that I’ve enjoyed over the last 10 months. Maybe you’ll take some of what I offer here and share them as a part of your most memorable holiday gift-giving yet…

Some of the names may not yet sit at the top of your mind or at the tip of your tongue, but they soon will…and the others you already know, well they’re on my list because they are shaping my goals and aspirations as an author myself every day in one way or another…

  1. edisto-jinxC. Hope Clark. I have had the most fortunate opportunity to professionally review three of her books and they have all left me anticipating the next one. Her two mystery series (the Carolina Slade series of three and the Edisto Island series of two thus far, respectively) are written in a style that reads so vividly, easily and realistically that they lead the reader’s imagination through each scene, shot by shot, but still allow for one’s personal touches to the imagery within their own minds. Highly recommended for all my fellow crime fiction lovers…

  2. Elizabeth Gilbert. I have had in my possession her newest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, for about a month now and have not yet found the time to open it and begin breathing in its wisdom. But I can say her story-turned-major-movie—Eat, Pray, Love—could almost be my life’s story over the past few years. There are just so many parallels…except for the one glaring difference that I have not done all the travel…yet. And The Signature of All Things was a novel with a great storyline and with great substance. Strong women protagonists just really capture me…

  3. J.K. Rowling. Duh, right? This choice might be obvious, but maybe not for my reason. Again, her personal story is so relatable to my own that I feel a much deeper connection to her as an author than I would otherwise. She and Ms. Gilbert are the kind of authors I can only dream of meeting one day, and to join their inner circle would simply be amazing! While my style of writing is nothing like that of her most famous Harry Potter series, she has set the standard to which I aspire…

  4. cover2500J.P. Sloan. A speculative fiction author, J.P. Sloan books categorically fall in the genre of urban fantasy and horror. His books have had the ability to capture my attention (I’ve professionally reviewed two of them, The Curse Merchant and The Curse Servant) because of the way they talk about the familiar and hook you in with the strangeness and supernatural of life as we imagine it might really be. Sloan takes our “normal” every day existence and stretches it, but not so far that the scenes he shares with his readers become impossible…

  5. Jayne Anne Phillips. I was pleasantly surprised to learn recently that this author was born in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Having moved to West Virginia myself a little more than a year ago after spending the first half of my life in the Midwest, I am discovering a much larger network of literary enthusiasts, supporters, and successful authors and writers out here than I knew of back home. Phillips’ book, Quiet Dell, re-imagines a gruesome crime in a West Virginia community not far from the author’s own childhood hometown. A very captivating read indeed…

  6. Happiness Next Exit CoverAnthony Mathenia. Anthony and I first met back in the Midwest before my big move. I spent a few years coordinating programming in the literary arts for the regional arts center back home, and my most favorite part of that was to host Open Mic Words nights once a month. Anthony was one of our readers, sharing his words of fiction, his words of poetry, and his energy and enthusiasm for the arts and those who were there trying out the waters along with him. This fall I had the exciting opportunity to revisit his authorship by professionally reviewing his book Happiness, Next Exit. This book is a well-written work and a truly romantic read for the religious fiction audience…

  7. Robert Frost. Yes, that Robert Frost. The classic poet. I love the beauty and simplicity of his poetry. It is visionary, imaginative, and yet not so “fluffy” that you want to roll your eyes at the ridiculousness of it. There’s an extensive list of “fluffy” poets in my mind, and thankfully Frost is not on that list. Even people who aren’t into poetry can get into Frost. He is so important to me as an author and poet, and as such, has such an appeal and impact on my own creative writing. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference…”

  8. Steve Roller. Those who know this name will probably be saying “Hey wait a minute. Isn’t he more of a professional content writer than an original works author?” My answer would have to be yes I suppose. But while I am trying to have some measure of success as an author, I also do a bit of professional content writing myself. His words of wisdom serve as guiding beacons as I work through the world of content writing. His are the most practical, applicable and insightful concepts and practices I’ve managed to study, understand and successfully put into practice. And believe me, I’ve studied lots…

  9. davinci codeIt’s a tie here. Between Dan Brown and E.L. James. And I bet a lot of you are laughing right now. Laughing at the way I have listed them together as well as that they have even made this list. In my defense, let me first say that I find Dan Brown’s conspiracy theories (Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, etc.) fascinating while still very aware that the underlying premise is simply ridiculous to many. Secondly, while there is a whole movement against E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed, and Grey) being even considered as a relevant author, she has in fact brought forth a whole new audience of readers to the inner circle. Whether we like it or not…

  10. lizElizabeth Crockett. Last to appear on this list but certainly not least of all in talent. Definitely not to be dismissed albeit not yet published. You might likely notice a similarity in name between this author and me. Also most likely is that you haven’t heard of Liz just yet. Well, this amazingly talented up-and-coming author in the wings is learning the ropes and about to seriously rock the world of fiction. I don’t say this because she’s my niece but rather that, at just 13 years old, her creative works are already blowing me and many others away. Seriously, you just have to stay tuned…
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