Copyblogger has a great segment of articles they call The Writer Files. They've interviewed many writers, from Seth Godin to Jeff Goins.
One of the more interesting questions they ask is: what writers, living or dead, would they like to have dinner with?
Who would yours be?
Here's mine: it's a small list, with various pros and cons tied to it.
First and foremost at the top of my mind is Stephen King. That's a no-brainer. The King of Horror himself. As long as we talk "shop" - i.e. writing.
Next would be Brandon Sanderson--fantasy author. I've listened to enough podcasts and watched enough videos to give me a good sense of what he can teach, and then again he's teaching an upcoming class over at Write About Dragons.com next month.
That's all for the living authors--I know, it's a short list and I didn't even mention others such as J. K. Rowling or John Grisham. Or even Dean Koontz.
The deceased authors, on the other hand, are a bit more interesting.
One such fellow is J. R. R. Tolkien. Nothing more needs to be said there, do I? Next would be John Gardner--his novel On Becoming A Novelist is a classic in my book, and a must-read for any author.
In the end, if I had to choose one, it would be the recluse J. D. Salinger. Why? He doesn't even write genre fiction, so why Salinger?
He is a master of dialogue, for one. And his method of storytelling far exceeds most writers. I'd just like to know how he approaches the craft of writing and even dialogue in general. There's one such story he wrote--it wasn't Catcher--where we meet two characters conversing for over fifty pages, while one is in the bathtub. And I was enthralled by it! How in the world did he pull it off?
Ancient mysteries I'd like to know.
In the end, I'd set aside King (although if I really had to pick a living author, it might be his son Joe Hill) and Sanderson for the mighty Salinger.
Yeah, that's who I'd pick.