Famous Writers

Quick, who is this guy:

It's Stephen King! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
It’s Stephen King! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

And who is this lady:

It's J.K. Rowling! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
It’s J.K. Rowling! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The other day MyFriendJen and I got talking about famous authors, and somehow it came up that we don’t really know what they look like. There are some books that I adore, that are BELOVED FRIENDS, and of course I know who wrote them, but I could sit next to those authors on a plane and have NO idea. It would be an absolute tragedy, for example, to be seated next to Nicole Krauss, or Jessica Grant, or Kate Racculia, and think nothing of them other than that I hope they are quiet, and that they don’t think they are getting the armrest, because it is mine. The lost opportunity for gushing would just be so sad, don’t you think?

And beyond the smaller authors to whom I am devoted, there’s bigger names too that I can’t put a face to. Jen said she could recognize Tom Clancy, but I swore I’d never seen a picture of him, and when she pulled one up on her phone, indeed, he was a total stranger. John Grisham? Danielle Steele? Dan Brown? Stephanie Meyer? Nope, no idea at all what they look like – how old they are, how fat or thin, any distinguishing features. I mean, I adored The Hunger Games to obsessive levels, but I could be waiting in line behind Suzanne Collins at the Superstore and think nothing more than I wonder what she plans on doing with all that orange juice.

So we started to brainstorm authors that maybe we WOULD recognize in public, other than the obvious two mega-stars pictured above, preferably living (although I have Kurt Vonnegut stone cold), and here’s what we came up with:

  • Margaret Atwood
  • George R. R. Martin
  • Robert Munsch
  • Douglas Coupland (me only)
  • Judy Blume (me only, and only because I’ve seen her Twitter profile pic)
  • Brandon Mull (Jen only, because she’s read 100 of his books to her kids)

It’s a very short list, isn’t it? I bet I could recognize many more screenwriters than authors of books. I mean, I don’t want to be a stalker or anything, but I feel like if there’s an author I really love, then I should at least have a vague idea of what they look like, just in case. I intend to read more “about the author” back flaps and maybe do a few internet searches on my favourites. You never know.

Related: guess if either Jen or I become famous authors, we don’t need to worry too much about bodyguards, electric fences, and being stalked by the paparazzi. That’s a relief.

Which authors would you recognize if you saw them in real life?

9 thoughts on “Famous Writers

  1. I think this is what I like about being an author – I have no fear of becoming a famous bestseller because it won’t change my life at all. So, now I can go out and focus on becoming famous and bestselling with no fear! Thanks Lynn …

  2. interesting point Lynn…… besides the ones you mentioned, Elizabeth Gilbert comes to mind .. I’ve seen a lot of interview with her. and maybe Bill Shakespeare .. but don’t think he’ll be in the grocery store line anytime soon.

  3. I could pick out Judy Blume and Douglas Coupland too! Possibly Stephanie Meyer. Danielle Steel…. definitely! She was my very favourite in the late teen years. I haven’t read anything of hers in years though.

  4. Zhu

    I’m addicted to Wikipedia so I usually know what my favourite author look like. Very different from the “official” book cover picture if the Wiki shot is a candid one! 😆

    1. Hey, I’m reading The Eyre Affair right now! It’s just so freakin’ cool. 🙂 Now off to look for pictures of Jasper Fforde…just in case!

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