This might be a long answer. So many books! So little time for me to talk about it!
Believe it or not, Mary Higgins Clark was my go-to read when I was in Jr. High and High School. My tastes have become varied since then, but she taught me how to love a mystery and appreciate well-written suspense. I love studying how she crafted her stories together from the “what ifs” she saw in the news. My stories begin the same way.
Since becoming an adult, my favorite books are based on my mood. Francine Rivers writes extraordinary fiction. Her books make you think for hours – even days – after you finish. I can always count on Nicholas Sparks and John Green when I want to bawl my eyes out, and even though I typically don’t care for non-fiction, anything Laura Hillenbrand will captivate me.
As far as YA goes, Harry Potter.
I’ll let you imagine the wistful look I have on my face as I recount how JK Rowling made me a part of that story. Even though I was a normal teenager from Nebraska rather than a witch in England, I’m sure I was a character in the story BECAUSE FOR THE LOVE – I felt it. Even after the book closed, I was roaming the halls at Hogwarts rather than meandering through the streets of my small town.
I was a fan of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight long before it became “the THING” (even though the whole vampire-thing didn’t interest me AT ALL), and I was completely obsessed with the Hunger Games series as well. I wish I would have thought of the premise of Roland Smith’s novels, as well as the Percy Jackson series.
I love the voice of Amanda K. Morgan (her books are easy-to-read, which means she works her butt off when writing), and was absolutely spellbound when I read LS Hawker’s The Drowning Game.
To Laugh: Dumb and Dumber, anything early Will Ferrell.
To Think: Any Historical or Dystopian Film. I’m a history geek.
To Cry: Any film where a beloved character dies. I’m a sap.
When I watch TV, I prefer to escape this crazy world and take thirty minutes to LAUGH. I prefer true comedy to crude comments. Crude comments can be comedic, but it seems like lately, people just try to pass vulgarity as humor.
If you want to watch the world’s most talented comedians ever, watch The Dick VanDyke Show and I Love Lucy. If you’re young and refuse to watch them because they’re black-and-white, OHMYGOODGRACIOUS STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND WATCH. You’ll only regret the sore abs you have from laughing so hard.
I also love the Golden Girls (again, if you don’t think elderly women can be funny, you obviously haven’t watched the show) and early episodes of Who’s Line is it, Anyway. Comedians and impromptu = hilarious. Another classic I (and every other person in my generation) love is FRIENDS. Nowadays I love Modern Family the most.
Volleyball. I played in college and LOVE the sport. I love basketball, too, but volleyball just sings to my heart. I love watching football, too. On Saturdays, I’m cheering on the Huskers, and on Sundays, the Broncos.
Pets or people
People. I like animals, but am a people-person at my core… which is unusual for an author, I know. I love having conversations with anyone who is intelligent, funny, or passionate. It doesn’t matter if you’re two years old or a hundred, conservative or liberal, crazy or straight-laced. If you’re kind, I’ll probably love you.
I have way more than one. Ever since I was little, my grandpa (now in his 90s) stole a huge portion of my heart. It grew in size to include my best friends and my husband (hands down, the love of my life). I also love every kid I teach, and I can’t even think of words to adequately describe the love I have for my own babies.
Horse. Hands down. They’re beautiful and strong. They’re loyal, but also have a mind of their own. There’s no smell like horse sweat, and there’s no freedom like riding.
Steak. I’m from Nebraska and went to college in Wyoming. If eating animals was against the law, I would probably be arrested.
Somewhere in the cozy country. It’s warm and calm, but the air’s electric with the presence of everyone I love, gathered in one place for no reason but to be together.