I thought it would be impossible to narrow it down but it's weird, I started making this list and realised that my problem isn't that I have too many favourite authors, it's that I don't have enough. The top 4 were easy (so beyond that point, they're not in order of preference), I added those without hesitation but the others were harder.
I think it's because while my list of favourite books is pretty long, being on that list doesn't necessarily get an author onto my favourites list - the Venn diagram of favourite books and favourite authors always overlaps but isn't even close to being a circle. Anyway...
Also, just to note, I am writing this at 4am (well, 3am, since the clocks went forward tonight) so if I get a bit rambling and nonsensical, sorry.
My Top Ten Favourite Authors
1. Melina Marchetta - She gets the top spot on my list without hesitation. Her writing is beautiful, her stories feel original even if she's writing about things people have written about before, she writes these amazingly complex and flawed characters and relationships. Most of her books make it onto my all-time favourite books list...and even my least favourite of her books is still way better than most other books I've read. Basically, she's awesome. I even adored the episodes of Dance Academy that were written by her.
2. J K Rowling - She's an obvious one and an odd one. She wrote one of my favourite book series, a series that I--and so many people--grew up with. A series that helped me and so many others fall in love with reading. So, for that reason, she makes the list. I've had less luck with her books outside of the Harry Potter world, so she's not the same kind of favourite as Melina Marchetta is (where I'm in awe of nearly everything she writes) but more for the impact Harry Potter had on me and on the world.John Green - He's kind of like Melina Marchetta, in the sense that I've yet to read a book of his I didn't love and even his worst was still great. His writing is also beautiful (but in a more -- deliberate way than Melina's? I'm not sure how to explain it...her writing flows as if it was effortless while his feels like he carefully considered each word to make sure it was the best word - kind of like listening to slam poetry vs. reading a haiku, both awesome but different). He's just a really excellent author.
4. Jandy Nelson - I've only read two books of hers (because she only has two released right now), but she was on this list when I'd only read her first. Her writing is like poetry even when she's not writing poems (the first book has poetry in it and it's fantastic), she writes such quirky, odd characters that I'd love to meet. I think it is mostly her writing that gets her on the list though, it's distinctive and lovely.
5. Paullina Simons - I've only read two of her books (The Bronze Horseman and Red Leaves), and they were so vastly different from each other but I loved them both. More than that, but they made me want to read more books with similar subject matter...when an author can spark a craving for more books like theirs, they're obviously doing something right.
6. Rainbow Rowell - I've loved all of her books that I've read so far (Attachments, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl) and what I like most about her is that she can write about things that wouldn't normally interest me and make me love them. And, she has a real talent for making me ache with nostalgia while reading her books -- they're all set during different times, but she just captures certain things so well (be it a fandom or a decade) that I can't help but relate to it.
7. Stephanie Perkins - Her first book, Anna and the French Kiss, was one of the few YA romance books I'd read (at that time) that made me feel like books in that genre could be more than just something cute and fluffy to kill a few hours, and that they could be something more without resorting trying to make it more meaningful by giving the protagonist a dead parent or something like that. I didn't love her other two books quite as much, but they were still really good and I would still read anything she writes now.
8. Eloisa James - This is an odd one to include. She writes historical/regency romance, and I guess she makes the list for being the author that made me realise I do actually really love the genre. Her books may not be literary masterpieces, but they're fun, they're the kind of books that can make me happy if I'm having a bad day and I'm not in the mood to read something emotionally challenging (and it is something that can be credited to her, not just the genre, because I've read books in the genre that I hated).
9. Khaled Hosseini - I've read two of his books and a graphic novel version of the third (The Kite Runner). I absolutely loved one of the books and the graphic novel, the other book was just okay (And the Mountains Echoed), but something about the ones I loved earned him a spot on the list in spite of the fact I didn't love all his books. I just don't know what, maybe it's the fact that he writes stories set in Afghanistan and I love the way he does it (showing the good, the bad, and the beautiful and making me want to read more books set there just so I can see more of it from the perspective of people who love their country).
10. Elizabeth Wein - She writes such beautiful friendships, she writes these strong and flawed and awesome female characters, she's made me wish I knew how to fly a plane even though I'm scared of it...she's just a really excellent writer, I've loved all of her books I've read so far and I'll probably be haunted by Code Name Verity for many years to come.
...Yup. That's it. There's probably loads of really awesome authors that I'm forgetting. It's weird, because I can't even pin point what it is specifically that makes me consider an author a favourite, because these ones make the list for different reasons, and there are authors whose books I love more than some of the ones on the list and yet they didn't make it?