Laurie Halse Anderson spoke at the Brookline Public Library this evening, and she is one of those writers who are good at speaking. Actually, she's good at a lot of things. Like being open and hilarious, even when she's being serious. Like finding the human truth in history, even if it means walking barefoot in the snow to learn what Valley Forge was really like. Like being angry with conviction, and turning that anger into books that make readers of varying ages and genders hug her when she signs their books.
My writing is in many ways different from LHA's, but I did attack a bottle of hand soap once to see what would happen when a character did it... Seriously, I think one of my major goals in writing is to create characters who, through their flaws and perceived flaws, tell readers, "It's okay that you're who you are." Obviously, LHA manages to do that all the time.