Your favorite writer
Well, there are lots of good writers out there. But usually when I get asked this question, my answer is Brandon Sanderson.
If you read my blog this may come as no surprise considering the time I spied on him at Borders but was too nervous to speak to him, and then a week later when my sister maneuvered my visit to Barnes and Noble to speak to him (yes, you did). And I always embarrass myself when I speak to the poor guy.
Because his books are AWESOME! Brandon Sanderson is a fantastic writer. He's got solid stories built on interesting, personable characters, with insightful writing to boot. And the guy works like a maniac. It seems like the past few years he's had two or more books out per year, and I'm not talking a couple of 250 page teen reads, I mean like 1000 page long opuses. And the sad thing is that it's still not enough for me. The poor guy can't write fast enough for his voracious readers.
The last book I read by him was The Alloy of Law which just came out last month (and, okay, it was a shorter one). When I picked it up I had just finished a slew of disappointing books, each one with some kind of major flaw. And then I pick up this book by Brandon Sanderson and just get the sense of, "Ahhhh. This must be a Brandon Sanderson book." Solid story, solid characters, solid writing. The guy has nailed how books should be written and he's just churning them out. In my eyes, he's got a great talent and it's a pleasure to have so many new works by this guy on a yearly basis.
I just hope I can tell him that someday without making a fool of myself. =)