1. How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
2. Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?
Well, let's see.
Growing up, and during school, I was all about 19c British lit (it was my minor, after all). I read Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre first when I was 12ish and read them every year until I started college. And I haven't read either of them since! So I guess I fell out of love with those books and authors. It was a childhood crush.
I love Camus' The Plague, but I wouldn't say I love Camus overall. I read The Plague for a course in undergrad and it completely blew my mind. It was so powerful: the concepts, his ability to set a scene, the humanity. It is a book that shaped a lot of the ways I think about the world and the importance of loving and taking care of people, no matter what you may believe or not believe about spirit or religion. But, I haven't read it since. I haven't fallen out of love per se, but I suppose I have moved on, and have grown, as a result of the relationship. :)
I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but frankly the other tales (Simarilion, Children of Hurin) have bored me, so I can't say Tolkien is a favorite author overall. That said, LOTR is one of my favorite series of books, though I came to them very late in the game (after the first movie in 2001). That trilogy was love at first sight, and I've reread them every year since. It's like a dear friend that I get together with once a year, and it feels so lovely and cozy - and reminds me of the bigger and better things we can all aspire to.
Finally, I came to Patrick O'Brian quite late in the game - like many people, after the Master & Commander movie in 2003. I read out of sequence - The Far Side of the World first, but I was hooked and went back and started from the beginning and read all 20 completed books in a row. It was love at first sight. He had an amazing gift for characterization, and for historical scene setting. I feel transported, truly, every time I read the books. I think I'm due for another complete read through. Right now, at least, this feels like a long-term love affair. :)