Witing this list made me realize how very...very fine I am with not actually meeting authors in person?? That's not even my social anxiety talking, I literally just don't usually feel a pressing need to interact with published authors. Partly that is social media's fault, I think, for making more of their personal lives and thoughts accessible through a one-way mirror, but plenty of enjoyable authors aren't on social media, and I still am not sure what I'd want to say to or ask them. This is probably good, since meeting authors in person is generally a rarity. But it was sfill fun to dream up this list!
(Some of my list definitely would require a time machine to accomplish...but hey, the topic says "would" and not "want," implying physical possibility of doing so is not a requirement)
1. Marguerite Henry (d. 1997)
Number one with a bullet to the moon and back. I just think her whole life story along with everything she's ever written is amazing from beginning to end, plus her generally warm and positive attitude toward her readers makes me think that she would be great to have a conversation with. I still can't believe no one's ever written a proper in-depth biography about her. I would have ALL THE QUESTIONS about her childhood, her pets (esp. Misty!!), her travels, the places she's lived, her writing style and future ideas, favorite books she's read...just everything. I think we could probably go on for hours on books and animals alone.
2. Lynn Hall
Since she pretty much disappeared from the public eye in the 90s, save this 2014 interview found on another author's website, I'd just love to chat about her past career as well as what she's up to these days. I really have no sense of who she is as a person, and that's pretty intimidating -- but I'd still love to try chatting about favorite books, horses, dogs, and how awesome it was of her to build her own house in the country for quite some time. Also I really, really want to gush about how much I love her books and how much influence they've had on me for most of my life. (Same for Henry, I suppose)
3. Anna Sewell (d. 1878)
It bums me out that she only got to write one novel (Black Beauty), saw liittle money from it and died a year later, and even then, her freaking gravestone was disrespected a century later. Long and cranky story short, this is the author I crave to take tea with considerably more than the other classic options of Austen or Brontes. Even if I had to abide by a no-spoilers time traveller rule and hold my tongue about her eventual impression that book would make on the world. (fyi, if I did have to abide by that rule, I would absolutely be buying a first edition or two to make up for it)
4. Dorothy Lyons (d. 1997)
Because she created a cool quartet of horse stories about Connie McGuire (among others), including one of the only old horse books my mom has also read, Golden Sovereign, and it would be awesome to tell her about that. And maybe just generally chat about her horse books. Or her?? I just realized I don't know anything about her and -- OH MAN, THANKS FOR THIS TOPIC, because in trying to find out when she died*, I found this fantastic source and also learned she has an autobiography! That...one library in the whole U.S. has. Oh boy. I don't think MN plays nice with CA for Interlibrary loans, sadly.
(*Find-A-Grave rides to my rescue again!)
5. Morgan Matson
Hark, a current and under-50!! I don't know too much about her, but she's just so good at crafting a YA novel, and closer to my age. I would like to know about her unpublished universe canon for the books, maybe inquire about character traits. There is probably plenty floating around out there in blog interview, but that sounds like hard work to find. Anyway, I would also love to have her sign (who am I kidding, inscribe) a couple of books.
6. Daisy Whitney
I have only read one book of hers so far, but I mean, she clearly has both an awesome dog and a love of travel, so that's enough right there, right?
7. Anita Heyman
I'd just like to tell her how huge an impact Final Grades had on me.
8. Kristen Chandler
An underrated YA author who has written 2 awesome books so far (with a clear love of animals!) and looks ready to hit the trifecta. She seems very nice on Twitter.
9. Chris Colfer
He is at least as much author as he is actor these days, so this is totally not cheating in the way I felt like putting Mindy Kaling on this list would be cheating (BUT ALSO, I WOULD ABSOLUTELY DIE TO MEET MINDY KALING). And I mean, technically I did meet him once, for five seconds at a book signing, but he is such an unfathomable delight of a human being that I'd love to have a proper conversation. (Once I've read Land of Stories, that is, which I keep looking at and admiring from afar while being too afraid to trade my anticipation of how good it will be for knowing.) But anyway, at that point, if I had the opportunity I would even behave myself and talk strictly about books
10. Rainbow Rowell
I would probably want to limit this to a book signing, just because she's so ridiculously famous and popular. She seems very down to earth, but I don't know what I'd actually want to say, except "your books are hilarious" and having one or more signed would be neat.