Friday, October 19, 2012

Spotlight: Debut authors

All readers - avid and occasional alike - look forward to the next book written by their favorite author. Fans of James Patterson usually don't have long to wait for his newest novel, while fans of authors like George R.R. Martin may have to wait years for his next tome. Or, perhaps you've grown tired of the same ol' stories. So what's a reader to do?  How about trying something written by a brand-new author!

Hundreds of debut authors enter the writing scene every year, from every genre. Some are instant bestsellers, while others gain readers more slowly through word of mouth. Some debut authors have had success in magazines or online, with self-published ebooks.

What sets these authors apart from more familiar names is that this is their first go in the national book publishing scene - their first chance to make a good impression on thousands of readers.  Debut authors don't have to work within expectations, which allows them to take risks that more established authors might not, for fear of losing their loyal readership. Without the benefit of reputation or name recognition, though, it can be difficult to really make an impact.

We add hundreds of debut authors to our collection every year. Here's some of the most promising we've seen in the past few months:

Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson (Fiction Anderson) - After escaping from Australia's Adelaide Zoo, a duck-billed platypus encounters a number of Australian animals, including a pyromaniac wombat, drunk bandicoots, and a wrestling Tasmanian devil as he embarks on a journey through the outback searching for liberty and peace.

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee (Fiction McAfee) - Graciela "Ace" Jones – a high school art teacher in a small Mississippi town - tries to right a number of wrongs, including a friend's cheating husband and her own boyfriend, who proposed three years too late. Funny and engaging, and full of romance and intrigue in the tradition of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum.

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny (Fiction O'Melveny) -  When 16th-century Venetian doctor Gabriella Mondini is barred from practicing medicine, she sets off across Europe in search of her father, a respected doctor who left under mysterious circumstances 10 years ago to gather material for his Book of Diseases. As a rare female doctor, Gabriella needs his mentorship, but his letters have grown increasingly incoherent; as she follows his route, she hears disturbing stories about his erratic behavior.

Wide Open by Deborah Coates (Science Fiction Coates ) - When Sergeant Hallie Michaels returns home to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her. The sheriff says that Dell's death was a suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. As Hallie pushes for answers, she attracts more ghosts--local women who disappeared without a trace - and discovers a disturbing pattern. Now she needs to not just figure out what happened to Dell but to make sure no one else shares her fate

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Fiction Ivey) - A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own.

Firelight by Kristen Callihan (Romance Callihan) - Forced to wed London's most nefarious nobleman to save her family from financial ruin, Miranda Ellis, who is gifted with exceptional abilities, discovers that her new husband is no ordinary man when she must enter a world of dark magic to save his soul

Stop by the first floor to browse our display of debut authors for even more!

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