Last year, I participated in That Artsy Reader Girl’s 2018 Debut Authors Challenge. This is a challenge Jana has been running for a few years now, though you probably know her better from Top Ten Tuesday! The Debut Author Challenge is intended to encourage readers to reach out and support new and upcoming authors. I’ve got to be honest, without this challenge, I most likely would have missed out of some of my favorite books of 2018.
As a twist on today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I wanted to talk a little about my Top Ten New Authors from 2018 that I discovered from this challenge. I hope you give their books a go, and love them as much as I did!
All all author bios and photos are are pulled from either Goodreads or their individual websites.
Aminah Mae Safi
Debut Novel: Not The Girls You’re Looking For
Aminah Mae Safi is a writer who explores art, fiction, feminism, and film. She loves Sofia Coppola movies, Bollywood endings, and has seen all of the Fast and Furious franchise. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her partner and a cat bent on world domination (and another cat that is just here for the snacks). Her 2016 We Need Diverse Books winning story will appear in their forthcoming anthology FRESH INK (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2018). Find her on Instagram @aminahmae and her website. Not the Girls You’re Looking for is her first novel.
Debut Novel: The Deepest Roots
Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.
Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda’s not writing or reading, she’s most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.
Emily X. R. Pan
Debut Novel: The Astonishing Color of After
Emily X.R. Pan lives in Brooklyn, New York, but was born in the Midwestern United States to immigrant parents from Taiwan. She received her MFA from NYU, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. She is co-creator of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology, a 2017 Artist-in-Residence at Djerassi, and a 2019 Artist-in-Residence at Caldera. She logs the books she reads in an Excel spreadsheet.
Debut Novel: Mirage
Somaiya Daud was born in a Midwestern city, and spent a large part of her childhood and adolescence moving around. Like most writers, she started when she was young and never really stopped. Her love of all things books propelled her to get a degree in English literature (specializing in the medieval and early modern), and while she worked on her Master’s degree she doubled as a bookseller at Politics and Prose in their children’s department. Determined to remain in school for as long as possible, she packed her bags in 2014 and moved the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she’s preparing to write a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment.
Debut Novel: Everless
Sara Holland grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. She graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, she can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in her bloodstream. EVERLESS is her debut novel.
Debut Novel: Heretics Anonymous
Hi! My name is Katie Henry, and I write books and plays for and about my favorite demographic of people: teenagers.
I spent my own teen years in Berkeley, California, an ultra-liberal college town where adolescent rebellion takes the form of eating refined sugars or voting Republican. I moved to New York City for college and decided to stay, even though the avocados here frequently disappoint me.
My interests include feminist/liberation theology, medieval history, and overthinking absolutely everything.
Debut Novel: Sky in the Deep
Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.
R. F. Kuang
Debut Novel: The Poppy War
I immigrated to the US from Guangzhou, China in 2000. I have a BA in International History from Georgetown, where my research focused on Chinese military strategy, collective trauma, and war memorials. I’m a 2018 Marshall Scholar, and I’ll currently at the University of Cambridge doing my MPhil in Chinese Studies.
Writing-wise, I graduated from Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2016 and attended the CSSF Novel Writing Workshop in 2017. My debut novel, The Poppy War, is the first installment in a trilogy that grapples with drugs, shamanism, and China’s bloody twentieth century.
I really love corgis, drinking nice wines I know nothing about, and rewatching The Office! I’m slowly growing out a pixie cut so my hair looks different in every photo I’m in. When I’m not writing, I co-run the review blog Journey to the BEST! with Farah Naz Rishi.
Debut Novel: Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her debut novel, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, comes out March 6th, 2018 and the movie is currently in development at Fox with the producers of Twilight and The Maze Runner attached. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When she’s not working on her novels or watching Scandal, she can be found blogging and teaching creative writing to her 3,500 subscribers at tomiadeyemi.com. Her website has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest.
C. G. Drews
Debut Novel: A Thousand Perfect Notes
C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her piano and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novels to make you laugh or cry (or both). She never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.
Outside of my top ten, I also read books by the below new authors. Some of these books are incredible; others I didn’t care for. Either way, y’all should definitely check out these nw(er) faces in the YA literature world and give their books a go! Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a new insta-buy author!
Rebecca Ross – The Queen’s Rising
Hank Green – An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Lianne Oelke – Nice Try, Jane Sinner
L. L. McKinney – A Blade So Black
Alexandra Cristo – To Kill a Kingdom
Gwendolyn Clare – Ink, Iron, and Glass
Florence Gonsalves – Love & Other Carnivorous Plants
Caitlin Seal – Twice Dead
Maura Milan – Ignite the Stars
Cayla Keegan – Catching Stars
Christina de Witte – The Ultimate Survival Guide to Being a Girl
Shea Earnshaw – The Wicked Deep
Melissa Albert – The Hazel Wood
Julia Whicker – Wonderblood
Lyndsay Ely – Gunslinger Girl
Gloria Chao – American Panda
In regards to the 2019 Debut Authors Challenge, I don’t think I’m going to be participating. This isn’t to say I won’t be reading 2019 authors! I have a whole Goodreads shelf devoted to the debuts I’m interested in. There are two reasons I’m not participating this year:
- My book buying ban.
- I ended up reading exclusively debuts in hardcopy for the last third of the year. While this is great on one hand, on the other… I’d really like to read some of the other books I own without struggling to read ALL THE DEBUTS before the end of the year.
I do still intend to seek out debuts, and I will tag my reviews with 2019 Debut Author. Seriously, though, I challenge my readers to take part in Jana’s 2019 challenge – I think it’s a great idea, and it’s so much fun to find new authors and share them with the bookish world!
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt was:
New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018
While I read a handful of popular authors for the first time this year (Becky Albertalli, Jay Kristoff, Marissa Meyer, to name a few) I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to flaunt some of my new favorites who published their debut last year.