Jessica Day George

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Have you hugged your Utah author today?

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!


Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

Rick Walton -- picture book author extraordinaire
Michael O. Tunnell -- the man who does it all!
Aprylynne Pike - whose Wings already hit the NY Times
Kristen Landon - whose life is sometimes in the pits
Dan Wells - well, what can you say about Rob's little brother?
And then there's some red-headed chick I met once somewhere. . . oh, wait! That was YOU!

Julie Wright said...

You know you are my favorite human in the world. I was just telling scott that I know I am cool because you answer my phone calls. Thanks for the shout out. And right back at you. Much. Better. Place.

Tasha said...

Ally Condie - Freshman for President is hilarious! She also published the Yearbook trilogy - LDS YA fiction

Taffy said...

Thanks for all the great titles! I'll add them to the stack by my bed...

Shiralea said...

wow and thanks! Our family loves Utah authors and we will be looking up some of these that we haven't read yet. My daughter went to a "young authors convention" some months ago in Springville and met some of the fabulous authors and illustators Utah has to offer...not only are they talented, but generous with their time!

Unknown said...

Gotta love Annette Lyon-her temple series is one of my favorites.
Anita Stansfield- Love her historical fiction, The "Towers of Brierly" being my favorite.
Thank you so much for this list and all the comments too. Our local library is starting an Authors Night, and this list will help me and my co-chairman to get our slots booked. As always you are amazing. Thanks for bestoring (SP) a greater love for reading in my daughters through the Dragon Slipper Series.

Rose Green said...

There is DEFINITELY something in the water in Utah! Browsing bookstores and seeing all the featured local authors/nationally famous authors always makes me smile when I'm there. Keep it up, you guys!

Letter Garden said...

You're in great company!!!! The Chosen One is one of the best read I had so far and I can't wait to discover Mette Ivie Harrison's tales.

I heart your books! :D

The Girl in the Other Room said...

Just added waaay too many books to my to-read list on goodreads! This list is just what I needed. I've been wanting to get more familiar with the Utah Author community since I attended LTUE this year and heard most of these authors speak.

They were are all so amazing and I felt awful for not having read their books (though I've read all of yours). Thanks for the list. Keep up the wonderful stories! You are a rockstar in my book!

Hannah said...

ahhh!! I live in utah!! my friends and I are always talking about your guy's writing!! we all seriously love you!! we hope to join in you in five or ten years too! ^^