I volunteered at the library at my daughter's school this afternoon, which I love to do. (Putting away the clean laundry, I hate. Shelving books? Hours of bliss. I have no idea.)
Libraries are the place where all my oldest friends live. Books I read as a kid, books you can't find on bookstore shelves anymore, books that have been handled and pored over and read and loved by hundred of other people. Libraries are also where I remember longtime author crushes, and sigh and stroke the spines of their books and wind up sitting down on the floor in the stacks, looking at them until someone trips over me.
I have more author crushes than I can name. (Crushes are great that way. You can have as many as you want!) There are the obvious ones, like J.K. Rowling and Joan Aiken and A.A. Milne, but there are so many others. Kevin Henkes, whose picture books are written just for me, I'm pretty sure. Lois Duncan, who was writing YA before we really called it YA; likewise Richard Peck, although he wrote middle grade books, too.
These are authors I would tremble to meet. And when I say "crush," I don't mean emulate. I just flat out love them and their work, and even years later, meeting one of them would make blush and stammer and probably an ass out of myself.
But that's part of why we write, isn't it? The idea that something we write will one day resonate with a reader that way, even if it's just one.
In the meantime, volunteer at a library. Any library -- they can all use help. And while you're there, visit your old friends.
Who are your biggest author crushes?