Writers on Reading – Jeanne E. Tepper

What did you like reading as a child?

I loved and still love adventure and romance. But really it all comes down to a great story that transports me to another realm. It’s the ultimate vacation.

Who is your favourite author and why?

I can’t just pick one, it’s impossible. As a kid I loved Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes and The Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. I graduated to Narnia, Ring World, and Heinlein. As an adult Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling, and Jane Austen are favorites. I made my book group read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for Halloween. They’ve never forgiven me, but it is a true classic, as relevant today as it was in the early nineteenth century.

What are your recollections of English lessons at school?

I always loved English class, although not so much the grammar lessons. I had one teacher in high school who inspired me to write.

You can take one book onto a desert island with you – which one do you take and why?

I could never take just one book, that would also be impossible. Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter? All endlessly entertaining. Do I get to bring my Nook with a solar battery charger?

What are you reading at the moment?

I am currently reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Which book do you wish you had written and why?

The better question is which author would I emulate? There are so many accomplished authors in addition to the ones I’ve already named. William Faulkner, Stuart Dybek, John Green, and Amor Tolles are all so very talented. Each one of these authors has written a story or a book that I hope someday to emulate. Even if I produce a shadow of what they have, it will be huge accomplishment.

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