Friday Fun — If you could make any author write again

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

This week’s question is part of a series based on 100th episode (“Ask The Readers Anything” ) of the UK-based podcast, The Readers. We thought it would be interesting (and fun!) to answer these questions from the perspective of writers who also (obviously) love to read. 

QUESTION: If you could coerce or inspire any retired or deceased author to write again, which author would you choose and what would you have them write?

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon: If I could I would ask Harper Lee to write another novel. I was in an advanced reading program when I was in 5th grade and we read a couple of classics that had children as main characters in them–To Kill a Mockingbird was one of them and I loved it and have never forgotten that first reading of it. I was always sad that Harper Lee hasn’t written any more novels.



Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson: I’d love to read more from Shirley Jackson (no relation to the author, although I do have an aunt with that name!) “The Lottery” is the first short story I remember having made an impact with me – I was pulled into the story immediately and didn’t see the ending coming. I think it was my first foray into dark fiction – the dark side of human nature (which scares me more than monsters).

I’d say she could write anything she’d like, short or long. Or if she doesn’t feel like writing something, I’d be happy to sit with her and chat about writing. I won’t be picky!


headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: I’m going to go with Kurt Vonnegut. I have always loved Vonnegut’s books and have a re-read of Galapagos planned soon. His official bio on captures beautifully why I am drawn to his writing, “His chaotic fictional universe abounds in wonder, coincidence, randomness and irrationality.” Vonnegut’s writing has a wry sense of humor, a deep intelligence, and a heartbreaking sense of sadness. He is also someone who says what he means and means what he says. And he doesn’t pull any punches. In addition to his fiction, I very much enjoyed his collection of essays, A Man Without A Country. There is nothing particular I would wish Vonnegut to write. I just think the world – literary and otherwise – would be a better place with him in it.

wendy-shotWendy Thomas: Hands down, J.K. Rowling. I realize that she is still writing, but I so want to go back to that whole wonderful world of Harry Potter. It was such a huge part of my and my children’s lives, I feel like it was a real place. I want more, much more of that magic.


17 thoughts on “Friday Fun — If you could make any author write again

  1. Several thoughts; I can’t make up my mind.
    I’m still miffed that JRR Tolkien never did produce a final draft of the Silmarillion. However, I’d like Philip K Dick to write ‘The Great American Novel’. That would be the title. I’m certain he could create something wonderfully appropriate – and in addition I’d like it to be written only after he finalised his VALIS work. In Lord of Light Dick’s compatriot (and sometime collaborator) Roger Zelazny wrote, a great mix of SF, religion and high adventure. Roger wrote many other works but never did a follow up. He was well read, articulate and had a good understanding of the philosophies behind religions; Lord of Light won an award; it would be interesting to see what he made of a follow up work.
    I’m a fan and I still can’t make up my mind.

    • I almost said Tolkien. I’m curious if he would write differently after living a while in the contemporary literary scene and reading some modern fiction. We’ll never know.

      • Interesting thought.
        Tolkien was an academic. It has been argued that the current interest in early Nordic literature, especially Old English; much of his output (translations of Beowulf etc) stems from his work in that field. In LOTR, he admitted that one objective was to create an English mythology (the Normans attempted to root out Anglo-Saxon culture). Would a present day Tolkien would reflect the literary customs of here and now? I’d be inclined to argue that he wouldn’t, but you never know.

  2. All of those authors are pretty neat writers – I’d want them to write more too! My one would probably be J.D. Salinger…or Oscar Wilde. I love their unique writing styles, and I wish they wrote more novels!

  3. I’d like to see what Poe would do with gothic horror in a more modern setting. And…I agree about Tolkien. He left such a wealth of information unwritten on a world that he created.

  4. There are lots (high and low brow perhaps)
    Stieg Larsson–I want more of Lisbeth
    Alexandre Dumas–Why couldn’t there be a novel between The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After?
    James Clavell–maybe if he had one more book in him we would know that Noble House was safe again.

    And, though not a novel (feel free to disqualify me, but I have to write it anyway) Bill Waterson–I miss Calvin and Hobbes so tremendously much.

  5. I’d like to see what Evelyn Waugh makes of class, race and religion in England today. His social satires were both hilarious and poignant.

  6. I never tire of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, and wish Hemingway had written more in that style. I would like to see how Shakespeare would write today. What would his style be like? What subjects would he write about? If Sophocles were writing what great person would be his tragic protagonist. today? You raised a very good question.


  7. I would say either Alexandre Dumas or Frank Herbert. Alexandre was such a wonderful writer of intrigue and dialogue that I get swept away with his characters and their plots. Frank Herbert on the other hand created wonderful universes, histories, peoples and everything associated with them. Personally, I feel he was the Tolkien of science fiction. Hmmmmm….I wonder what it would be like if they collaborated?

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