Women Writers Who Wow Me

I wouldn't be so passionate about craft if not for quite a few women currently making big moves in the publishing industry right now. Some I've been quietly learning from, others I've had the express privilege to talk to, but they have all in some way influenced how and why I write.

Dhonielle Clayton

This may be sappy as heck but reading The Belles (followed by Everlasting Rose) helped me barrel past a few hang-ups I still had from childhood about beauty and what it meant to be and feel beautiful. It was honestly the first time I had ever seen a Black woman character allowed to exist as soft, delicate, and girly while still handling dangerous situations. I read The Belles after a surgery, arguably when I felt my most gross, and by the end I felt like I wanted to buy as many dresses as I could just because I deserved it. Dhonielle is also a ridiculously kind soul who just wants to use her powers for good. Much like all of the women on this list, I will be a reader of hers for a long, long time.

Dhonielle has written so many books since I've read The Belles, but I'm excited for The Marvellers, coming May 3rd!

Zoraida Cordova

I had to put Zoraida next on the list because it was through the indomitable friendship between her and Dhonielle that I got introduced to Incendiary (and then her entire backlist). Zoraida has been in the game, she knows things most don't and her craft is sharp as hell. This author had me weeping like a baby in the first ten chapters, something that has never in the history of me reading happened prior. There is absolutely no reason she shouldn't be on every single best seller's list known to mankind but alas, I don't control those lists. Highly recommend you read her novels, comics, and literally everything she puts out.

100% recommending that you check out their podcast Deadline City, their books, and become fans like me. Thanks in advance.

N.K. Thee Jemisin

A literal genius of Scifi and Fantasy. What else do I need to say. When I read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms it became immediately clear that she was a new favorite forever. Beyond that, when I think about my own writing, I think "How can my sentences be as put together as N.K's?" If you ever take some time to dive down a rabbit hole of interviews throughout her career, please do it. The way N.K. talks about how she came to be such a powerhouse (she would never call herself that though it is true) in the Scifi and Fantasy spaces is worth every minute. I also specifically got a Masterclass subscription to watch her class. Well worth the money, I assure you.

N.K. has also written a brilliant Green Lantern run, highly recommend it. Another recommendation is The City We Became but a lot of people find that book polarizing.

Tracy Deonn

When I tell you that Legendborn changed the entire game, I mean that. I stand firmly on my hill, singing the praises of the sheer skill that went into that book. Why? Because I know that a teenage me would have felt so seen while reading it. The adult me felt seen while reading it. Again, the level of craftswomanship (see what I did there) that went into that book could only be described as expert. She knew exactly what she wanted to convey, the execution was perfect, and she believed in her audience to carry the good word. Brilliant!

Legendborn's sequel, Bloodmarked, is going to be out this fall and you bet you sweet bottom that I will be reading it!

Sabaa Tahir

When I say that she made a perfect quartet, I mean that. The Ember In The Ashes series had me by the throat all the way through. I would almost be sad that I waited to read them until the last book was released but, I'd be lying. My reading experience was uninterrupted and unrivaled. Also, I wanted them all to match. Sabaa is, and I know I keep saying it, a master of fantasy. Imagine not reading her books, could never be me. Her recent release, All My Rage, just came out and I look forward to diving into that.

This is certainly not all the women who have, in some way or another, inspired me to keep going but it is a list of authors I hope you check out immediately. I am not exaggerating when I say they are all forces of nature, kind, and that I hope to see their continued success.


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