Ten Authors I first Encountered in 2015 // also, last week to enter the SS contest!

Before we get started I would like to remind you all that the deadline for the SEA Scribblers short story contest is December the 12th. If you haven’t entered yet then what are you waiting for?! Amazing prizes, epic photo prompts, a smallish word-count — what’s not to love? *bribes all the talented Writer Humans with chocolate chips* Oh! And you should totes remind/tell all your friends about it too. Go forth and write!

Actually read the post first. Then go forth and conquer the blank page.

The theme for this Tuesday is Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I read for the First Time in 2015.

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1. Kate DiCamillo.

I was first introduced to the magical writing of DiCamillo by my friend Amanda. She read Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures and squealed over it and begged me to get it out of the library and read it. I devoured that book in a few hours. It was sweet, unexpectedly moving, and had a refreshing, childlike uniqueness about it. Plus, some of the scenes are done in adorable comics and interspersed throughout the book. And seriously, how could you go wrong with a squirrel who types poetry and flies at impromptu moments? Not to mention the children. THE CHILDREN. Ack. I love them so much.

I also did a read-along with Amanda of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It was beautiful.

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2. Suzannah Rowntree.

Right now, I’m reading Pendragon’s Heir and delighting in Rowntree’s writing all over again, but the first book of hers that I read was The Rakshasa’s Bride, which is a novella re-telling of Beauty and the Beast set in ancient India (the book is actually available for free when you sign up for her newsletter.) You all know how much I adore Beauty and the Beast and I fell head-over-heels for the richness and beauty of Suzannah Rowntree’s writing. I like pretty wordage (who doesn’t?) and I especially love how she weaves in the description and character emotions and interactions, and historical detail so effortlessly — the talent, people! O.O Her books are like cake to me, but better because I never feel like I’ve devoured too much. tho if you think about it, who feels like that about actual cake anyways.

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3. Ashlee Willis.

I’ll be honest, I did not expect to love this lady’s writing as much as I do now. I hadn’t heard much about her around the blog-sphere or Goodreads, but I was curious when I learned she was publishing a darker re-telling of Cinderella. It sounded like one of those stories that lingers long in a reader’s mind once you’ve finished it — the kind you mull over several cups of coffee with. And those are my favorite sorts of books.

I read A Wish Made of Glass and it hit so much closer to home than I ever imagined it would. Reading it helped heal a part of me I didn’t even realize was aching, and this book is so precious to me now. Also Willis’ style is immersive and quietly beautiful. I’m always recommending her to people. Speaking of which, READ THE BOOK MY FRIENDS. Annie has spoken.

“Her words are fire and I am only a fluttering moth.”

4. Austin Kleon.

Allow me to tell you a thing. I have a particular bookworm quirk: I do not dog-ear. Ever. To me dog-earing a book is akin to tearing a page out. It is simply not done. This is why bookmarks exist, no?

So it might give you a decent idea how much I like Steal Like An Artist when I tell you that there are so many inspiring gems in it I have actually started to dog-ear the book. And not just once, but multiple times. I can not believe I just admitted that. What’s next? Flattening out book spines? *cringes*

“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”
Austin Kleon

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5. Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Technically I shouldn’t include Stengl since I read the first book in Tales of Goldstone Wood after Christmas last year, but I read the rest of the eight books this year so I’m mentioning her anyways.

This lady is one of the most talented and incredible authors whose work I’ve ever read. And when I say that I mean it wholeheartedly. I love her books to the point where I actually spent all my Christmas money on the first four and bought the next five as soon as I was able to (and I hardly ever buy books for myself.)

If you love fantasy, if you crave rich world-building and lifelike characters, if stories with depth and beauty and emotion and heart-stirring moments call your name, if you like pretty writing, if you want to be swept up into a magical, vivid world and never be able to escape again…

Read Stengl’s books.

Then come and tell me all about it.

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(I’m using one of the author’s graphics because I’m not keen on the book cover.)

6. Mirriam Neal.

I’ve been following this young woman’s blog for years now and she has been one of the most inspiring writers in my life. So I finally bought Monster in September. Sweet T.A.R.D.I.S of Gallifrey, it was every bit as heart-wrenching and beautiful and deep and unforgettable as I expected it to be. Mir broke my heart and I don’t think I’ll ever recover. pretty sure I have no wish to.

Neal is an author to watch out for, humans.

And she just recently landed a publishing contract for her fantasy Paper Crowns so excuse me WHILE I FLAIL AND TOSS GLITTER AND PAPER STARS EVERYWHERE.

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7. Gaston Leroux.

I thought this book would be beautiful and dramatic and mysterious and sad and riveting.

It was.

Go you, Leroux.

*cries over Eric forever*

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8. G.K. Chesterton.

Other than Sherlock Holmes and certain Agatha Christie books, my favorite mysteries are now the Father Brown books. Not every mystery is a murder, they generally have some very simple yet eerie twist, not every mystery is solved, and the villain doesn’t always get caught — it’s like Chesterton read my wishlist. And Father Brown is so adorable. I want to pat him on the head and give him peppermints.

I started The Man Who Knew Too Much and by the end of the book I had (metaphorically) flung it across the room and (literally) cried. In the best way possible, it messed with my brain and emotions and it is a genuine favorite.

Chesterton is very wise with an eccentric way of expressing his thoughts. He also nearly always hits the nail on the head. Also, more pretty writing, y’all.

“The thousand arms of the forest were grey, and its million fingers silver.”
― G.K. Chesterton

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
― G.K. Chesterton

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9. Rosemary Sutcliff.

Her characters captured my heart almost at once, but what I really, really love is how sharply gorgeous her writing is — the sort that makes your breath catch from the wonder of it.

I feel as though there is a theme about pretty wordplay in this post….

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10. P.G. Wodehouse.

Ahhhh, Wodehouse. I love thee well. ^_^

I shall just leave you with my mini reviews for Leave It To Psmith and The Code of the Woosters.

Carry on, lovelies!

16 thoughts on “Ten Authors I first Encountered in 2015 // also, last week to enter the SS contest!

  1. My goodness: so many authors here I want to read! I’ve read a good many of Chesterton’s poems, essays, and short stories, but I haven’t read any of his novels yet. I’m hoping to fix that before long, though I’m not sure if I want to read The Man Who Knew Too Much or The Napoleon of Notting Hill first.

    I love Father Brown too! He’s such a darling. One of many characters I wish was my best friend. 🙂

    I keep hearing about Anne Elisabeth Stengl, but I haven’t read any of her books yet. Clearly, this has to change.

    I nearly bought one of Rosemary Suttcliff’s novels at a book sale once, and then for some reason, I PUT IT BACK. And now I’m finding out that Suttcliff is this brilliant authoress who I missed out on! D-: Never too late to catch up, though. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually haven’t read any of Chesterton’s poems or essays yet. I know. It’s terrible. o.o You should probably start with The Man Who Knew Too Much. No, no, I’m not biased. 😉

      You know, now that you mention it, Father Brown would be an amazing best friend. If only. *la sigh*

      GIRL. This most definitely needs to change. O.O You should make it a New Years’ resolution to read some Stengl. For sure. ^_^ On that note, do immature girl characters annoy you to no end? Because the first book in the series (Heartless) sometimes drives people away because Una is quite the pain when it starts out. Which is sad since the series is INCREDIBLE. Just not necessarily the first book.

      Oh, dear! Always go with your instincts, Hanna. ALWAYS. 😉 But, yes, never too late to catch up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well… 😀 …if you haven’t read Chesterton’s poetry before, I can name a few suggestions. “The Donkey” was the first poem of his I read and it’s perfectly charming. I also love “A Second Childhood” and “The House of Christmas”. As for essays, some of my favorites are “The Red Angel” and “On Lying in Bed.” I bought a book of Chesterton’s essays just the other day, and it’s awesome. 🙂

        Hmm…I wonder if I could read the rest of the series without reading Heartless? Immature characters don’t bother me too much, but if the book itself isn’t that great, I might just skip it and move on to the second book.

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  2. So much greatness I want to read on this list. Like, Chesterson? I read The Man Who Was Thursday this year, and it blew my mind.
    AND OH NO I FORGOT ABOUT THE CONTEST. *is lured by the promise of chocolate chips* I need to get it together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, yes, she is.

      Ooooo, I’m that much more intrigued about your WIP now. 😀 And I’m the same about Cinderella too, especially since it isn’t my favorite fairy-tale, but A Wish Made of Glass was beautiful. ^_^ And not told from Cinderella’s POV at all so that was fun.

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  3. I cannot believe you’re only just discovering DiCamillo this year. Isn’t her work simply gorgeous? Next on the list, if you have not picked it up already: THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX. It’s my personal favourite of hers, and perhaps even more gorgeous than FLORA & ULYSSES and EDWARD TULANE. You can thank me later. 😉 xx

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    1. Her writing is utterly magical and beautiful and… ❤

      Oh, dear. So, apparently, I have read DiCamillo before. O.O I read The Tale of Despereaux when I was little. HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN THIS. Clearly, I need a re-read. o.o

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  4. Sounds like you’ve been reading many beautiful and emotional books. ^_^ *is slightly jealous of feels* Carving out time to read can be tough sometimes! I must content myself with my slowish pace…

    Anyway, I digress. Great list! *nods firmly*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was actually a really rich reading year for me. ^_^

      Aww! I can sympathize, sometimes I struggle so hard to fit in reading around my writing and other life stuff. My tried-and-true method is to read at lunchtime no matter how busy I am. Though, if you think about it, your reading may have waned this year, but look at how much writing you did! Whereas I didn’t do as much writing as I would have liked, but read lots… O.o I hope you can fit in heaps more gorgeous, feelsy books in 2016, girly!

      Thanks. *happy grin*

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  5. Hooray! What a wonderful list! I have known some of these authors a long time…one of them about as long as I’ve known anything…But I WAS introduced to Ashlee Willis this year too! A WISH MADE OF GLASS was lovely (if a little uneven). It’s not so much a Cinderella retelling as a completely different story riffing on similar events. Pretty irresistible. I’ve had my eye on her full-length novel for a while and will have to make time for it soon!

    Otherwise, Chesterton and Wodehouse are two of my top six authors of all time, and Sutcliff is a lot more awesome than I remembered from my philistine teens. If you like Wodehouse, BTW, you should check out Jerome K Jerome’s THREE MEN IN A BOAT, which I just started reading aloud to my sisters last night: we were weeping with laughter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *chuckles* I see what you did there. 😉

      Another Willis fan? ^_^ I know, I loved the twists in AWMOG too — especially with the slippers and the different POV. So fresh and intriguing. I’m hoping to read THE WORD CHANGERS soon also.

      I highly approve of your high opinion of Chesterton and Wodehouse. 🙂 I still can’t quite believe I only just delved into their works this year. What was I missing all my life?! But at the same time, I think I have a maturity now to appreciate their writings that I wouldn’t have had several years ago…

      Oooo, thank you so much for the recommendation! I can’t wait to see what all the fun’s about 😀 And that’s so sweet that you and your sisters read together! ^.^

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