Probably the first author I ever read where I couldn’t wait for the next book was Anne McCaffery. The first book of hers that I consumed was Dragonsong and I felt an immediate connection with Menolly, the title character. The writing was relatively simple and eloquent and still managed to paint a rich story. The characters were real people to me even though the world they lived on was totally alien.
Even today, decades later, Dragonsong is one of my favorite books.
The other thing that I really loved about her writing is how she continually built on the world/universe the stories were taking place in. She would mention other places in passing and eventually visit them, tying everything in the world together. She also constantly would talk about people and we would meet them later or in other stories, making everything that much more real.
Anne McCaffrey is the reason I am a writer today. She was first published later in life which gave me some hope. Her success grew gradually, which also makes me optimistic for the future of my own writing.
I never had the opportunity to meet Ms. McCaffrey. The closest I ever came was when my mom, a teacher/librarian, went to a convention where Anne McCaffrey was a keynote speaker. Mom took all my books (including a battered falling apart copy of The White Dragon) with her for signing. Ms. McCaffrey was very gracious and signed every book. Mom tells me she was a very generous and friendly lady. I wish I had been there.
One day I hope to be the writer she was. I hope to have the same effect on others that she had on me.