If you haven't noticed from the multiple staff picks I've written for her books, I have a larger-than-life author crush for Robin McKinley. I mean, we're talking grand adventures, horses, romance, gleaming scheming swords, solid friendship, baking...her books have it all. The best part, in my opinion, are the heroines. These ladies are the kind of ladies I wish lived in my neighborhood - they're brave, they're funny, they're stubborn. They take on cross-country adventures, evil dragons, snobby relatives, vampires, and so on, without the usual girlish whinging or reluctance to get their shoes dirty. These ladies kick butt.
Plus! She writes at various reading levels: there's middle grade, teen, and adult - sometimes revisiting the same idea, like a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. That's talent right there. And if you were a voracious kid reader like me, it was amazing to grow up loving a particular writer and to keep finding books by her that grew with me.
Double plus! She has a new book out! I am really excited for her latest book, Pegasus. Princesses and flying horses! I will probably read it in two days and pass it off to my roommate, who will probably read it in a single day, and then resume asking me when the next McKinley book is coming out. (We have played this game ever since she spotted The Hero and the Crown on my bookcase when we moved in together three years ago).
This is all leading me to simply say, read her, love her, go read her blog. It has footnotes. The good kind of footnotes, that further illuminate the text and make you chuckle. For comparison, I have to admit I've failed to finish reading Mark Dunn's Ibid, so I acknowledge that I have had past struggles with footnotes.