Talented writers I know(ish)


all the pretty blues


Catchy title, but I couldn’t think of another way to put it. This is a post celebrating and making a wishlist for all the books just out or coming soon by people I sort of know – by that I mean, people I’ve met through twitter or their blogs and admired from afar. In some cases, these are the author’s first books, which makes it all the more exciting.




Casey Hannan


I know I’ve spoken often of his Mother Ghost (Tiny Hardcore Press). I’m still waiting for it to descend into my hands. You can read some of his flash fiction on his blog and I highly recommend that you do. His works are strange, sparse, vivid. I really cannot wait to read the whole collection.


Katie Coyle


I know Katie through her work with The Female Gaze. It was lovely to hear her YA book, Vivian Versus The Apocalypse (Hot Key Books) will be published in September. From Goodreads:


A chilling vision of a contemporary USA where the sinister Church of America is destroying lives. Our cynical protagonist, seventeen-­year-­old Vivian Apple, is awaiting the fated ‘Rapture’ -­ or rather the lack of it. Her evangelical parents have been in the Church’s thrall for too long, and she’s looking forward to getting them back. Except that when Vivian arrives home the day after the supposed ‘Rapture’, her parents are gone. All that is left are two holes in the ceiling…”


Kirsty Logan


The one person I’ve actually met, at a reading of hers in Edinburgh’s cafe Love Crumbs. She also works for The Female Gaze. Kirsty won the Scott Prize this year, so her collection of short stories The Rental Heart and Other Stories will be published by Salt in November. She provides a synopsis on her blog:


“These stories feature clockwork hearts, lascivious queens, paper men, circuses, and a gracekeeper; some are queer retellings of classic stories, some are modern-day fables, but all explore substitutions for love.”


Sarah McCarry


AKA The Rejectionist. I’ve loved her discursive, fiery, bookish blog for ages and would place a bet that her YA book, All Our Pretty Songs (St Martin’s Press) is going to be intense and fantastic. Here’s a quote from Elizabeth Hand on the book:


“Sarah McCarry’s brilliant lightning strike of a novel reignites the myth of Orpheus in a blaze of rock and roll, obsessive love, and the kind of all-consuming friendship one only experiences when young. A stunning debut that fans of Neil Gaiman and Francesca Lia Block will devour.”


You can preorder a signed copy of All Our Pretty Songs here!


Hilary T. Smith


AKA The Intern. She too keeps a great blog of her travels and adventures across North America and the world – and back in the day, when I started reading her, of her trials as a literary intern. Her YA novel Wild Awake (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books) wins the award for most enlivening cover. Look at those luscious oranges and purples.


“Wild Awake, the debut novel of Hilary T. Smith, introduces readers to one of the most memorable characters in young adult literature since Holden Caulfield, seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd. With her parents away for the summer, Kiri looks forward to time alone with hours to practice her piano, win the Battle of the Bands, and convince Lukas that they should be together forever. 

However, a phone call from a mysterious stranger changes everything, plunging Kiri both into a seedy world where her older sister had lived and died as well as into a psychological descent, so raw and intricately portrayed,that Kiri simply must prevail or be destroyed. Heart-wrenching, powerful and much more than a coming-of-age story, Wild Awake, perfectly portrays a forced maturity, one in which a strong human spirit refuses to be undone, whatever the cost. Highly recommended.”—Sue Campbell, Book Passage


It’s coming out on the 28th of May but you can get your mitts on it early here.


Michael Wuitchik


Michael has been kind enough to pop his head over here a few times (usually giving much appreciated words of advice) and we share agent Drea Cohane.  His novel My Heart Is Not My Own (Penguin Canada) is out in August this year. Here’s a short part of the synopsis from Michael’s blog:


“Ten years after returning from war-ravaged Sierra Leone, Dr. John Rourke receives a package in the mail. In his hand is the unfinished diary of his ex-lover, Mariama Lahai, the beautiful and charismatic African nurse who disappeared ten years before on the day Rourke was evacuated from Freetown. The journal documents Mariama’s capture, rape and journey at the hands of the rebels but leaves unanswered the question that still haunts Rourke–is Mariama alive?”


Cari Luna


I know Cari from Twitter, where she frequently provides insights into her writing life in Portland. She also has a great interview series on her blog called ‘Writer, with kids’. However, I started following her after reading her devastating short story on PANK, ‘Gone to Water‘. Go and read it and tell me you don’t want to grab yourself more of her work. Here’s a quote about her novel:


“On May 30, 1995, the NYPD rolled an armored tank down East 13th Street, evicting squatters from two buildings. With gritty prose and vivid descriptions, Cari Luna’s debut novel, The Revolution of Every Day, imagines the lives of five squatters from that time. But almost more threatening than the city lawyers and the private developers them are the rifts within their community.” – Amazon


The Revolution of Everyday (Tin House Books) is out in October, but you can preorder it right here.




I hope some of these books have caught your fancy too. If you are a writer-friend(ish) of mine and I’ve neglected to give your book a mention here, it’s likely that I’ve missed word of your publishing news. Let me know! I’ll happily add it to the list.


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One response to “Talented writers I know(ish)

  1. Pingback: Talented writers I know(ish) | Bibliotropic.com

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