I've been thinking about this. I'm not interested in people just because they're famous. I want to talk to people who have/had lives. Who lived them to the fullest, pursuing their dreams to various degrees of success. These are not perfect people (perfection can be so boring!), but they are interesting and I'd love to hear what they have to say.
The country Obama inherited is much like the one FDR was dealing with. I'm sure he had his detractors, but it was his vision and action that made this country turn around and become truly great. And speaking of detractors I'm not sure any president has ever had more than Bill Clinton. Say what you will about the man's personal life, his time in office saw the elimination of the national debt. A truly amazing feat. I'm sure both of these men would have a few thoughts to share on how to dig this country out of the mess it's in.
The next three shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone who knows me: they're all authors.
Stephen King has always been my first love when it comes to authors. (Dean Koontz runs a close second). I was fortunate enough to see him speak a few years ago. It was after the accident that nearly killed him and as always, he impressed me with his ability to bounce back. His books often reflect the state of the world, couched in horror, which is the mirror King hold up for us. I still believe The Stand is his masterpiece and a warning. We must be very careful not to think we are above making mistakes.
Nevada Barr is also an author. A former National Park employee, her mysteries are set in the national park system and though her stories deal often with the wilderness and its denizens, Man is the most fearsome creature in her books. I often feel I've been to these places after reading about them, her writing is that vivid. I often think that Robert Redford missed the mark when he decided to do his mystery series using Tony Hillerman's stories (they're good though). Nevada Barr's seem like they'd be much more up his alley.
And finally, JK Rowling. She just interests me. How a story could spring fully-formed from her mind in such detail, of characters and place - it blows my mind. I too have stories that do that, but I can't seem to get them down. She managed it. Humble beginnings and all that - she wrote to feed herself and her daughter. I think she is amazing. Because of her, the world loves a little boy with glasses and an unusual scar named Harry.
Can you imagine the conversation around the picnic table? Between the two politicians and the three authors, so much could be said! So much solved. I might even invite Obama so that he could maybe learn something.
Now go visit the Georgia Girls and see what kind of dinner parties the other participants are putting together!