10. Rick Riordan
I mean, who doesn't love Percy Jackson? I think the draw of Riordan is that his writing is always fresh. He makes it onto this list because, while I may not read his books as soon as they're released, I always get to them and always hold them dear.
9. Maggie Stiefvater
Similar to Riordan, I love Stiefvater, but I don't get to her books as soon as they come out. I always find myself coming back to her, though. I'm still behind two of her works, but I PROMISE I will catch up. Her Shiver series is also one of the first YA books series I ever read, so they'll always have a special place on my shelf.
8. Marissa Meyer
I'm a little surprised she made it onto my list, to be honest. It's not that I don't love her books, but until the other day I hadn't even considered her a candidate. But then I was glancing through my shelves and thought "oh yah! of course she's a favorite!" It's because I'll read anything she puts out. Her writing is addictive and she seems like such a kind person anyways.
7. Kelley Armstrong
I seem to collect her books without reading them. That's not strictly true since I have read (and loved) several. I own at least one book from each of her series. The reason she made it onto this list is for her characters. They are some of my all time favorite characters, without a doubt. Few others rival her in this area.
6. Michael J Sullivan
In case you didn't know, he's amazing. His Riyria books are my most favorite fantasy novels. Okay, maybe that's a smudge? I can't actually say for certain because they're that good. Less rambling, though: he really knows how to rope you in and create a full circle story. The way he writes allows him to leave no plot-holes and it's so very cool to come to an end of a series and see how every little thing connects.
5. Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden is my hero. Butcher is far from a perfect writer, but he does do something particularly remarkable: he improves his writing. It's a tangible thing that you can absolutely tell. In all my reading, his own growth as a writer is more extreme than anything else. Plus, he knows how to make a series addicting and all consuming.
4. Sarah J Maas
Well, the list wouldn't really be complete without her showing up on it. She's one of those rare writers that I'd read anything written by. ANYTHING. A shopping list, even. Her touch is gold and I can't wait for all the stories that she has yet to release. That is all.
3. Neil Gaiman
When people ask me who my favorite author is, I say Gaiman. When it comes to putting words on paper, he's got the most elegant touch. I've never read a better writer than him. The only reason he's not number one: I don't love everything he writes. Some of his stuff gets a little to grotesque for my own taste. It's beautiful, but hard to read.
2. Brandon Sanderson
A newcomer. Before this year I wouldn't have even considered him. Of course, before this year I hadn't read Mistborn. I love those books and now own nearly all of his books (obsessed? no. what?) and have met him in person. Did I mention I've bought a few things from his website store and am saving up for the Mistborn RPG? He's just really really great.
But number one belongs to one person who has always had my heart...
1. Cassandra Clare
I love Shadowhunters. Whereas some people have Harry Potter or Twilight as the series that introduced them to reading, I have Mortal Instruments. She's another writer that has clearly grown over time. Every book that comes out is a new favorite. Without fail, I have gotten each new book the day it releases and started reading then and there. She will always be on my favorite list, that I can promise.