Today we’d like to introduce you to ten of the most active and accomplished members of Book Country. The list ranges from bestselling authors to aspiring writers whose book projects have garnered praise from their peers on the site, and it represents the unique spirit and diversity of our community. Whether you’re new to Book Country or have been around for a while, we think these writers and their works are well worth your time.
Last year, Alex’s New Adult novel Tryst got the attention of a Penguin Random House editor and was subsequently published by the Berkley/Intermix imprint. So how did her lifelong dream come true? The San Diego writer says, “I wrote to my heart’s content about the book boyfriends I’d imagine and made the early drafts available online on Book Country. Book boyfriend Blake turned into Tryst.” Connect with Alex on her website, Twitter, Facebook and check out some of her newest work on Book Country.
Alys started writing her Young Adult novel The Casquette Girls on a whim, the result of a 2012 New Year’s resolution. She set it in a paranormal version of New Orleans because there “some of the legends are older than dirt and others seem to materialize from the thick, humid air.” The novel went on to become a #1 Amazon bestseller, which landed her a deal with Amazon’s imprint Skyscape—the new version is slated for publication in the fall. Follow Alys on Twitter and don’t miss the video of her and Alex Rosa talking about how Book Country helped them write their best books.
Here’s another writer for whom the Big Easy is a muse. She admits, “The city’s aura buzzed through my veins, and I came up with a story about a cowboy. A few months later, Watching Fireflies was born.” The novel is the first in Jaycee’s Love Bug series, followed by Dragonfly Awakening, which tells the love story of characters Paul Harris and Ellie Caldwell. When she’s not spinning Southern romantic tales, Jaycee works at a law firm. Her day job inspired the third installment in the series—it takes place in a law office! Stay in touch with her on Twitter and and visit her website.
Rachel Anne Marks is an award-winning writer whose YA paranormal novel Darkness Brutal just came out from Skyscape and has been described as “TV’s Supernatural meets Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist.” Rachel’s passion for teen literature comes from her fascination with “the teen state of being—that place where we decide who we’re going to be. There’s so much in us when we come to that crossroads.” In addition to being a talented writer, she is also a professional artist—visit her online gallery to check out some of her work. Connect with Rachel on Twitter.
A frequent contributor to the discussion forums, Mimi is the author of a genre-bending series centered around the character of Sly, “a Puss-in-Boots on steroids.” When we asked her about the most important lesson she’s learned about herself as a writer over the years, Mimi said, “To follow my gut. Screw rules.” Connect with Mimi on Book Country and start reading Sly!, a novella that introduces her three-book series.
Amber’s currently worksopping her fantasy novel Destiny’s Bond on the site and says that, “although it’s still not ready to be published, the people here on Book Country have boosted my confidence that it one day will be.” Telling the story of a dispassionate daemon who binds the souls of goddess, predator, and mortal within her, the book has gotten high marks from the community! Connect with the Michigan writer and check out her other novel on the site, Scarlet Crimson.
A longtime member of the community, Marshall is the author of the fantasy novel The Thorn of Dentonhill (DAW Books), which was originally workshopped on Book Country. He says the novel’s editorial process “was one of inquiry, not dictation” and that it “strengthened and built the text, rather than altered it.” Moreover, A Murder of Mages, the first book in his second fantasy series just came out in July—it is a story “set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine.” Follow Marshall on Twitter and check out his writing blog.
The Seattle author’s novel The Sojourn, forthcoming from Atria Books, was inspired by the time she spent in France as a student. When not writing, Andrea serves as the director of social media and marketing for Girl Friday Productions. In fact, she has contributed a number of fantastic articles on book promotion to our blog. Follow her on Twitter and visit her website to learn more, www.andreadunlop.net.
This veteran Book Country member has been on Book Country since the very beginning but has only recently published the book that he extensively workshopped on the site, The Phoenix Diary. Set half a century into the future, the story follows three teenagers as they are searching for a diary—a mysterious record that might be a formula for free energy to rebuild the collapsed civilization—with the help of a clue found on an old computer. GD loves hard science fiction because he considers it “the only way to write about an inevitable future world.” Visit his author website, www.thephoenixdiary.com.
The San Francisco member started designing jewelry and making glass beads in 1992, which has won her awards as well as international acclaim. Her craft has also inspired her writing! About five years ago, as she was working in her glass studio, Janice “had an idea for a perfect murder, right down to the best way to get rid of the murder weapon.” That’s how High Strung, the first novel in the Glass Bead Mystery series was born. In the second installment, A Bead in the Hand, which you can read and review on Book Country, the Portland bead bazaar turns bizarre when main character Jax finds a dead body beneath her sales table. Find out more about Janice’s work at her website, www.janicepeacock.com.