I've been thinking about author meetings lately. I'm not entirely sure why, since I'm years away from having to think about book tours (seeing those things generally involve this little thing called a book deal...), but I've had book signings, meet-and-greets, and school visits on my mind. And I have all these great ideas for contests and ways to interact with readers at functions instead of just talking or reading to them. They're all highly, highly pre-emptive, I know, but it's fun to think about sometimes. Not productive really (except that it makes the ironing go by faster), but fun. Anyway, somewhere along in the brainstorming/dreaming, I ended up flipping the idea and thinking about what I would want my favorite authors to offer as contest prizes or special events.
I would want there to be a way to win a day with that author.
Obviously, in real life, that can only apply to living writers. But here in the blogosphere, we can apply the idea to all writers of all time and we don't even have to compete for it :) So, if you had an entire day to spend with the author of your choice, who would it be? Why? And what non-writing-related activity would you do with him/her?
I finally decided on J.R.R. Tolkien. C.S.Lewis and G.A.Henty were close contenders in the past-authors category since Narnia is just wonderful and I grew up on Henty. Maggie Stievfater and Brandon Sanderson were the top picks for current authors, because Maggie is both hilarious and talented at all things creative, and Sanderson is, well, brilliant at storytelling. But, Tolkien surpassed them all. The Lord of the Rings is spectacular. And to spend a day with the man who created the world and history and characters of Middle Earth would be an incredible experience. His story is so full. Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to ask him in person how he developed it? How he created such characters? Why he bothered to develop a written language for the Elves and Dwarves? etc, etc, etc.
And if it was actually possible to spend a day with him, I would take him to New Zealand - the one place on Earth that looks like the world he created. And maybe, just maybe, he'd tell me what happens in the Fourth Age of Middle Earth.