I have the very great fortune to live in Utah. I say this is a fortunate thing not because of the climate (it's a desert), or the mountains (they are fine), or the drivers (LEARN TO USE YOUR BLINKER!), but because I am surrounded by BUCKETS OF TALENT. It's a strange thing, a heady thing, a thing that makes me write like a frantic writing maniac, just so I can keep up. And I can't hate them, and I can't be jealous, because they are my neighbors, and my friends. It's a wonderful support group we've got goin' on, and I love it.
Although it really does make it hard when you want to be jealous. Like losing the Beehive Award this year to Candy Shop Wars. I could have thrown a hissy fit, but instead I grinned and clapped, because I ADORE Brandon Mull, and his beautiful, funny wife, and I was so happy for him!
I know, it's weird. Normally I'm the world's most competitive person, but when it comes to Utah authors, I just love 'em all. And I've been doing a lot of "local reading" lately, books that I haven't gotten around to before, or are new, and I just can't stop talking about the fabulousness of these books.
So here, in alphabetical order, is a list of some (but not all!) my fellow Utah writers whose books I am recommending off the top of my head. (Please, any Utah authors that I forget, know that I love you, and understand that I make the Absent Minded Professor look savvy. It's not you, it's ME!)
Anne Bowen- Tooth Fairy's First Night is a darling, darling picture book, a fun one to give to your favorite kid who's losing/lost their first tooth!
Mark and Caralyn Buehner- This stellar writing/illustrating team gave the world Fanny's Dream, and The Queen of Style, which lead to one of my niece's giving her little sister a haircut!
Ann (A.E.) Cannon- You know how much I love Ann, and her Loser's Guide to Life and Love. Unleash your inner Sergio!
James Dashner- Like a laugh with your adventure story? Try the Dashner Dude's Thirteenth Reality series!
David Farland- Dave's weeklong writing class was a huge boost for me, I got published just a year later, after trying for eight years! Try his Ravenspell series, and find out what it's like to be a mouse!
Nathan Hale- I've had to read Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School about six thousand times to my Boy. It never gets old for either of us. Favorite page: Plum made a bear-painting.
Shannon Hale- This raw young talent just might make it big! HA! My favorite: Book of a Thousand Days.
Mette Ivie Harrison- Check out her new book The Princess and the Bear, a truly unconventional love story.
Tracy and Laura Hickman- Tracy is the master of the Dragonlance novels. The MASTER. Together with his beautiful wife, he's traveled the world, taking names and kicking orc booty. The Bronze Canticles is their first project together.
L.E. Modesitt, Jr.- For you grownups, there's Lee, the best-dressed man in sci fi. Who knows what to recommend, the man's done over fifty books, there's something for everyone! I'm about to tackle The Parafaith War . . . so excited!
Brandon Mull- After reading The Candy Shop War I really can't be jealous: what a fun book! Two great lines: "Sounds like a good way to get stabbed by a hobo." And: "Summer was a fudge zombie!"
Tom and Louise Plummer- Tom writes wonderful essays about life, my favorite collection is Eating Chocolates and Dancing in the Kitchen. Louise is an amazing YA novelist. A Dance for Three is her breathtaking, heart-breaking look at teen pregnancy.
Brandon Sanderson- Mistborn, baby! Restored my faith in big, chunky grown up fantasy books.
J. Scott Savage- Farworld: Water Keep has peril in every chapter, plus monsters, magic, and mayhem. Y'know, if you like that kind of thing.
Emily Wing Smith- Wanna find out The Way He Lived? You really should. Really.
Carol Lynch Williams- I would interview Carol for the blog, but after reading The Chosen One all I can do is say, Wow. And, Golly. Not really good interview questions, you know? It was an amazing book, tense, thrilling, heart-wrenching. I couldn't put it down, and my palms were sweating the entire time. And yes, I cried in parts.
Julie Wright- The world is a better place because of Julie. Just in general. Also, she wrote My Not So Fairy Tale Life. Better. Place.
Randall Wright- I cannot WAIT for The Geezer in our Freezer!
Sara Zarr- Sara wins acclaim and exudes literary greatness without even trying. Also, she has great clothes. Also, I loved Sweethearts.
Go out and read a Utah author today!
Who'd I forget? Tell me in the comments!