Q. Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).
Well, talk about a tough question! There are two that spring to mind. First: Alanna by Tamora Pierce. They were the first fantasy books I read that were written for me as a young girl reader, and I will always absolutely love them (and her) for getting me completely addicted to fantasy in a way that my older brothers' swords 'n sorcery books hadn't. The other is Lords and Ladies by Sir Terry Pratchett. I happened to randomly pick this up from a bookstore for a plane ride when I was 13 - thank heavens! I completely adore every single Discworld novel (some more than others, of course) and re-read them for comfort reading. Discworld novels taught me that fantasy could be smart and funny and talk about important things, and that it was sometimes easier to read hard truths with a tasty coating of trolls and witches. When I heard about his Alzheimer's diagnosis I was so sad, but he is still writing away and I can't wait until I have a home library with enough shelving for me to indulge myself and buy every single one of his books.