Famous Writers Dish on Their Unattainable First Loves
Crusher: Jodi Picoult, author of the forthcoming novel Small Great Things
Crushee: Donny Osmond
This Magic Moment: Catching a glimpse of his megawatt smile at the age of 6
Heart to heart: "I've sometimes wondered what would have happened if I'd magically teleported from my backyard...to the studio where Donny & Marie was filmed, what Mr. Osmond would have done when confronted by a grubby... child clutching a pillowcase emblazoned with a bad likeness of his face.... I like to believe he would have given me a cookie to feed my hunger, and perhaps a kiss on the cheek to feed my dreams."
Crusher: Stephen King, author of the forthcoming novel End of Watch
Crushee: Kim Novak
This Magic Moment: Watching 1955's Picnic at the movies when he was 8 years old
Heart to Heart: "It was the first time I really noticed a woman's breasts, I think.... I fell deeply in love, although she was adult and terrifying. I could imagine a kiss from her as being a prelude to ingesting me whole, but that would have been okay. Just fine, in fact."
Crusher: Roxane Gay, author of the forthcoming memoir Hunger
Crushee: Almanzo Wilder
These Magic Moments: Reading the Little House books, in which Almanzo wins the affection of pioneer schoolteacher Laura Ingalls
Heart to Heart: "There was the time he won a buggy race even though he had his horses pulling a heavy wagon. There was that time he and Cap Garland braved brutal winter weather to bring wheat to town so the townsfolk wouldn't starve. That Almanzo was such a mighty good man."
Photo of Donny Osmond: Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images. Photo of Kim Novak: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images. Book image of These Happy Golden Years: NBCU Photo Bank