Hello, my favorite people on the internet! 🤍
Months have passed by since my last blog post—manuscripts have been drafted, edited, and sold, books have been published and devoured, have pierced our hearts, given us all the thrills and chills, ripped the floor out from under us in one fell swoop; my reading has gone through rough times and wonderful times (simultaneously, at times)—but one thing has stayed constant throughout it all: my passion for boosting writers and books I’m passionate about.
So here I am, finally back on my blog, and more than delighted to talk about writers and debut authors I have so much admiration and appreciation for that it’s impossible to condense it into a handful of paragraphs (though I will attempt it, nonetheless). They have wholly and irreparably enchanted me with their presence, and brilliance—and I hope they will enchant you as well.
(As always, this is a non-exhaustive list!)
SHELLEY PARKER-CHAN & SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN
“Sweeping across an epic alternate China, She Who Became the Sun is Mulan meets The Song of Achilles—a bold reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty as the story of a female monk who will stop at nothing to gain the Mandate of Heaven and achieve greatness.”
Shelley Parker-Chan is an Asian-Australian former diplomat who worked on human rights, gender equality and LGBT rights in Southeast Asia. She was raised on Greek myths, Arthurian legend and Chinese tales of suffering and tragic romance, her debut novel She Who Became the Sun owes more than a little to all three.
I don’t think I need to elaborate any further than I already have (in excess) on how much I adore The Song of Achilles, and how much Mulan means to me personally—so, unsurprisingly, I do not possess the words to express just how much I’m yearning to get my hands on She Who Became the Sun.
My yearning has only intensified after hearing praises about it from Alix E. Harrow, namely: “there’s history/war/exquisite pacing/gorgeous writing, etc, but there’s also a moment when the prince orders his finest general to kneel and the general replies, his voice low, “would you like me to?”.
Suffice it to say, I’m fully ready to perish at the hands of this novel.
I only stumbled across Ava on Twitter a while ago, but I’m already so in love with her aesthetics and the vibes she exudes??
Her incredible, incredible-sounding novel The Wolf & The Woodsman releases on June 8th next year, and its synopsis has grabbed me by my throat, its sharp teeth sinking into me unrelentingly, irreversibly. I already find myself checking for updates and snippets every once in a while (I’m okay, it’s okay).
Her debut follows the story of a young pagan woman with hidden powers, who forms an unlikely alliance with the captain of the Woodsmen to thwart a tyrant, and it’s got:
– hungarian history & jewish myth
– enemies to lovers
– magic system based on body horror*
Also, as always, we stan authors who provide content warnings.
Where do I even start? You all know how much of a sucker I am for beautiful prose, and Gina’s is absolutely gorgeous, stunning, breathtaking … I could go on. Her snippets always leave me breathless and in awe, trying to catch my breath as I wait for the next one.
I can already see myself dedicating an entire weekend to her debut Violet Made of Thorns when the time comes, simply so that I can reread her masterfully crafted sentences over and over again, and bask in their glory.
“Violet Made of Thorns is a darkly romantic, fairytale-inspired YA fantasy, for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.” (……… by the way, did I mention it has an Asian anti-heroine and hate/love deliciousness?)
Christina has one of the most soothing, lovely, and warm presences on Book Twitter—whenever I see her tweets, it’s like a gentle ray of sunshine has graced my feed. One of my uncontested faves.
She is currently working on a WIP I’m l o o k i n g very, very hard at—but before I get ahead of myself, her debut Clues to the Universe (releasing in January!) is an immensely wholesome, touching MG novel with characters that end up owning a small piece of your heart by the time you turn the last page, and emerge from the wondrousness and temporary reprieve from reality that their story brings you.
I can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with Ro, a spunky Asian-American girl rocket scientist, and Benji, a shy artist looking for his father, and both laugh and cry amidst their journey of navigating through grief “with families born and found”*.
Did someone say sunshine personified? Most of you probably know Joel as a BookTuber already—or rather BookTube legend (!!!)—but when I think of him, I still associate him with the Joel I met before his social media presence took off so spectacularly, which means that to me he’s simply one of the best, most generous people in the book community. (I’m not exaggerating, okay.)
I feel incredibly lucky and honored to have been able to experience his writing first-hand—his short story The Boy and the Dragon was so touching and filled with so much heart—and I’m simply biding my time until the publishing world gets to experience his work(s) and fall in love with him as a writer, too.
His latest WIP titled The Dream Prince is an ownvoices novel for Black & bisexual rep, featuring:
– enemies to lovers
– two soft princes who communicate through dreams
– a powerful curse, tyrannical kings, brewing wars
– lost prophecies & ancient cults
– portal fantasy x court intrigue
– s l o w -burn romance
(Be still, my beating heart.)
XIRAN JAY ZHAO
Let me present to you: the writer who is going to turn your world upside down—or, in other words: Xiran Jay Zhao wrote a mecha pilot re-imagining of Wu Zetian.
If that alone doesn’t make your heart beat faster in your chest, let it sink in that about a decade ago, they barely spoke English, and now their duology has not only sold, but will be translated into French, Italian, and Spanish (!!!).
Their debut Iron Widow‘s tagline reads “Concubines. Feminism. Giant magical mecha. East Asian myth.” and is described as A Pacific Rim x The Handmaid’s Tale retelling of the rise of Wu Zetian, the only female Emperor in Chinese history.
It’s going to be the first book in a duology, and I just— [clenches fist] I can not w a i t to hold it in my hands.
Everyone who’s active in the book community most likely already knows Racquel (or Rocky) as Blonde With A Book from YouTube, so I will just tell you to a) follow her BookTube channel, and b) get ready to get excited about her debut!!
(Yes, it releases in spring ’22. No, it’s not too early to be excited.)
Ophelia After All is a coming-of-age/coming-out story featuring a Cuban-American main character who questions her sexuality, as well as platonic love & intimacy (we love to see it), rose gardening, prom, and literary theory.*
Not only can I not wait for this gem of a book that’s infused with her bright, sparkling personality and ready wit to hit the shelves, I’m so incredibly excited for her personally, and I can’t wait to see where her publishing journey will lead her.
(Go add Ophelia After All on Goodreads now!!)
ZOE HANA MIKUTA
To be perfectly honest … I’m lowkey intimidated by Zoe. (There. I said it.) Do you ever feel anxiety slowly creeping up on you, goosebumps rising, by the mere thought of simply being ~perceived~ by someone—simply because they are so incredibly, effortlessly cool?
And since her coolness is invariably going to seep into her writing, Gearbreakers will unquestionably be the very essence of cool; capital c.
Prepare yourself for the Korean rep of your dreams featuring a crew of bighearted renegade kids, found family, mecha-deities, cyborg girls in leather jackets—and last, but not least, cyberpunk sapphics tattooing each other as a form of affection.*
Who are some of the writers/authors that you admire?
Any WIPs you’re excited to know more about?
(Any blog posts you’d like to see on my blog, now that my hiatus is over-adjacent?)