Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs, the #1 Indie Next List pick for March, recently spoke to BTW about the emotions that inspired his book, the notion of friendship, and being able to live out his dream.
Rohan Gavin’s Knightley & Son “is a clever, creative, exciting adventure perfect for everyone who loves a good, classic mystery,” says Kris Vreeland of Once Upon a Time Bookstore. Here, Gavin discusses the inspiration for his debut novel for middle grade readers and more.
Walton’s eloquent debut YA novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, about a girl with speckled wings and a heritage of love, loss, and magic has been called “timeless, beautiful, and perfect for lovers of magical realism” by bookseller Melissa Fox of Watermark Books and Café.
Jessica Hendry Nelson’s If Only You People Could Follow Directions is a collection of autobiographical essays about family relationships, addiction, and the chaos they bring. Reviewers have praised Nelson’s debut memoir as hypnotic and wryly funny.
Many of the stories in The UnAmericans were inspired by Molly Antopol’s family history, notably their involvement in the Communist Party. “I come from a big family of storytellers,” said Antopol, “and I grew up surrounded by tales of surveillance, tapped lines, and dinnertime visits from the FBI.”
Helen Peppe is the author of Pigs Can’t Swim, a memoir of childhood by the youngest of nine children in a hardscrabble, beyond-eccentric Maine family. Her debut title has been praised for being outrageous, hilarious, and touching.
James Scott is the author of The Kept, a debut novel about family and retribution, which he hopes will leave readers with a deeper understanding of the characters and empathy for the things they’ve done and had to do.
In his debut title, the memoir Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West, Bryce Andrews recounts his experience of living and working on a cattle ranch in remote, windswept southwest Montana, where there’s a fragile balance between the tame and the wild.
Cristin Terrill, author of the debut YA novel All Our Yesterdays, believes that it is important for everyone to be able to see themselves and their experiences reflected back at them through art and entertainment, “and that probably goes double for teenagers,” she said.
Katy Butler was inspired to write her debut title, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, after seeing her father suffer through a medically prolonged death, and then seeing her mother defy her doctors, refuse open heart surgery, and face death head-on.
Mitchell S. Jackson is the author of the autobiographical novel The Residue Years, about coming of age in a black family in Portland, Oregon, in the ’90s and dealing with issues of poverty, drugs, and race.
“I wanted to write a book that I thought my students would like, one that was structured and formatted in a way that would entice struggling readers, and one that was as true to their lives as I could make it,” says Patrick Flores-Scott, author of the debut Young Adult novel Jumped In.
YA literature is important, said Amy Christine Parker, author of the debut novel Gated, because if it’s done well, “it depicts teens as they really are ... and makes teens feel known in a way that adult books don’t.”
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