Books are there for us whenever we need them to take us away into a world of fantasy. There are so many authors of fantastic work that it would be impossible to mention here and there are many prolific writers with staggeringly large back catalogues of novels, but which writers have been most influential?
It’s not just their published work that makes a writer important, it’s also their popularity. Anyone who’s anyone is now on social media and writers are no exception. Those who are most influential will have the highest number of followers on social media. It’s not only their books that interest people, it’s also their social commentary and little snapshots of everyday life.
Every one of these writers can also offer hope to aspiring authors out there too.
This Canadian journalist and author might not be known by everyone, but his leap from writing with the Washington Post and the New Yorker to works of fiction which immediately became bestsellers. His David and Goliath book spent several years on the New York times best sellers list and he has forged another career in public speaking. His left wing journalistic approach is what makes him popular and he’s not a prolific user of social media, but his fans hang on his every word.
Few authors have ever penned something which endangers their own lives, but Rushdie isn’t sfraid of doing precisely that. His 1988 book, The Satanic Verses, caused so much upset among Pakistani and Indian Muslims that a fatwa was issued against him – meaning an order to kill him. He was forced into hiding for a number of years for his own safety. He’s a controversial, intellectual and uncompromising man.
The Harry Potter author offers would-be writers a great lesson in tenacity. Unbelievably the first of her books about the young wizard received numerous rejections before a publisher took it on. The rest as they say is history and now Harry Potter is one of the most successful franchises in literary history. Rowling uses Twitter avidly and millions hang on her every word and observation.
Possibly more famous for being a prolific tweeter and presenter of panel show, QI, Fry has published many works of poetry and non-fiction. His time as a comedian where he worked together with Hugh Laurie – latterly of TV drama, House – might be well in the past, but his razor sharp wit and campaigning for gay rights have made him a very popular figure.
The Brazilian born author is highly spiritual and philosophical and his musings make him a very popular figure online. His greatest achievement though is The Alchemist, which has been translated into 71 different languages and sold over 40 million copies worldwide. It still remains in the New York Times bestsellers list 17 years after publication. Not bad for an author whose early work sold very few copies.