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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I Really Want To Meet

There's this fun book-centric meme for bloggers via the Broke and the Bookish that runs every Tuesday called Top Ten Tuesday, and while I probably won't do it every week, I thought I'd try and break into the fray for this week as an opener. It's - wait for it - a weekly top ten list that runs on Tuesdays and each week a different topic is picked by the BATB blog runners for participants to discuss.

I used to do so many memes like this back when I ran Dangerously Cold Tea, my old book blog (wow, that takes me back...) and I promise, they are super fun. Hopefully, y'all find this as much fun as I do.

This week: ten authors I really want to meet. I'm gonna keep it split ever across prose authors and manga-ka, since this is primarily a manga blog. I'll count a few dead ones, since it's a fantastical whim and within that framework, anything could happen.

Now, in no particular order of importance or emotional resonance, my top ten for this Tuesday:

1. Doctor Osamu Tezuka. I started off with a heavy hitter, but who can blame me? He is the friggin' manga god. I don't know many manga buffs who wouldn't want to sit down with Doctor Tezuka, the man who finished medical school only to turn around and dedicate his life to a medium which, at the time, was considered one of the lowest forms of entertainment, and raised it to a legitimate art form. Also, it'll be the only chance I'd get to ask about all the manga he left unfinished at the time of his death.

2. Naoko Takeuchi. Just to thank her for bringing me Sailor Moon, one of the most influential magical girl series I watched in my adolescence if not the top one. Plus, y'know, I'd ask about all the manga she's done post-Sailor Moon, especially since none of them have been licensed for English release. How silly is that?

3. Haruki Murakami. Switching to prose, I'd love to meet the man who arguably has put modern fantastical Japanese literature on the map over the past two decades. I want to crawl inside his brain and see how he views the world, and even ask him about his current running regimen. I doubt I could keep up with his stride, though - on the pavement or on the page.

4. Frank Herbert. I want to ask him what the hell was up with the final 'chapter' of his last Dune book that dropped right before his death. Was he just trolling his readers or did that scene actually mean something? It's been bugging me for years, and I bet it's been bugging long-time fans for a much longer time.

5. Roxane Gay.
 The only writer on here because of non-fiction. She is a very interesting figure on Twitter, her Bad Feminist book is still buzzing in my head months later, and her love for the Barefoot Contessa and Food Network fills me with joy. I imagine hanging out with Gay for an afternoon would be super fun and enlightening, even if it's just watching Ina Garten make roast chicken on television.

6. Joyce Carol Oates.
This is a difficult add. I used to love her books, but I've grown tired of her writing, and her cranky, bigoted persona on Twitter has completely turned me off her books. Buuut I feel like she would have a lot of valuable lessons to mine from about creative writing and the craft of writing overall. I just wouldn't ask her opinion on any sort of current events, nope nope n o p e.

7. Eiichiro Oda. "So... when is One Piece gonna end? Are my favorite nakama gonna make it to the end alive? IS CHOPPER EVER GOING TO FIND LOVE???" Seriously though, this is the man who around the 60-volume mark declared his star shonen series only halfway done. I'd like to know his creative process and how he keeps track of all the hundreds of characters that have popped up in Luffy's world. Plus, on a gossipy note, his thoughts on Fairy Tale and Hiro Mashima would be appreciated.

8. Kaori Yuki. Yuki is the gothic shojo manga queen, and I've been reading her works since I found scanlations of Gravel Kingdom and Kaine online, then started buying Angel Sanctuary through Viz (and I still own all 20 volumes!). Judging from her in-book notes, Yuki seems like as big a nerd as her readers, and she obviously loves soapy plot twists, extravagant scene set ups, and dramatic revelations as her characters clash on the page. I'd love to watch her plot out a new series, just to see what kind of things don't make it into her works.

9. J.K. Rowling. Dude, do I even need to explain? She's Harry Potter's mother, basically. She has also pulled off a trick few authors of her position have done successfully: move on from a huge series (Harry Potter) to continue her success in a different genre and demographic set (The Cuckoo's Calling, etc). Plus, she's been smacking down fools on Twitter so hard, I want to buy the woman a drink or five.

10. Julietta Suzuki. I dunno, if you read this blog often enough, this is also another "enough said" pick. I love Kamisama Kiss with the blinding hotness of a thousand suns, so spending time with KK's manga-ka would be a great treat in itself. And if she asked me to act as an assistant for her while she worked on the latest chapter of Nanami's story? I just might die of happiness, right there in her studio.

What authors would you want to meet most of all, manga or otherwise?