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There were so many wonderful debut authors in 2013, so I asked a few of them this:

Q: What was the most fun/unusual/interesting/etc thing you’ve learned since becoming a published author?

Here’s what they had to say…

April Genevieve Tucholke
April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband—a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist—live in Oregon. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

Some interesting/unusual things I’ve learned as a 2013 debut:

  1. Use discretion when telling people you’re a writer. There is a 95 percent chance you will end up in a Fifty Shades of Grey conversation.
  2. Being an author means people will assume you’re rich and that you drink all the time. No matter what. They just will.
  3. “April Genevieve Tucholke” is far, far too long a name. It’s cocky, almost arrogant. What was I thinking?
  4. People will try to sell you their ideas for your next book. Try not to kill them.
  5. People will ask you how your sales are, and you will be too stunned every damn time to think of a good comeback.*
  6. If you leave your book lying around your parents will read it when they stay for the holidays. And you will regret those steamy scenes.
  7. Getting to meet (and occasionally hang out) with other authors never gets old.
  8. Readers rule.

* Such as: “I don’t know. How’s your salary?” or “Here’s my bank info. Why don’t you log on and check things out for
yourself?”

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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

We all have authors whose work, for whatever reason, inspire us more than the rest, whose books standout and can always be counted on to entertain, and even to comfort. These are the ones that we’ll instantly forgive a misstep or two (maybe even three), because we love them that much, and will buy, and read, anything that they write. So, we asked our panel…

Q: What authors are on your autoread list, and why?

Here’s what they said…

Jaime Lee Moyer
Jaime Lee Moyer lives in San Antonio with Marshall Payne, two cats, three guitars and a growing collection of books and music. Her first novel, DELIA’S SHADOW, will be published by TOR Books on September 17, 2013. Two other books in the series, A BARRICADE IN HELL, and AGAINST A BRIGHTENING SKY, will be published in 2014 and 2015. Her novels are represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency. She writes a lot, she reads as much as she can.

The list has changed over the years as I’ve changed and new writers have come onto the scene. There are so many good books out there, so many new worlds and viewpoints to explore. Potentially this list could get very long, but I’ll limit myself.

  • Elizabeth Bear is an autoread for me. Her worldbuilding is stunning, her use of language is amazing, and her characters suck me right into whatever story she’s telling. The women in Bear’s books are strong and autonomous, and they play central roles in the narrative.
  • Robin McKinley, for the beauty of her storytelling, and how a seemingly gentle story can kick me in the gut. The highest praise I can give a book is that it made me feel something: joy, sorrow, fear. McKinley’s books have made me cry more times than I can count. I love that.
  • Rae Carson, a new writer on the YA scene. Excellent worldbuilding in a non-European setting, and a main character that grows into the role fate has handed her. Carson’s use of language is superb, and just because her protag is young doesn’t mean she gets off easily. Can’t wait to see more from her.
  • Ian Tregillis, another new writer who pulls no punches. First rate storytelling, and characters that made me rethink my definitions of evil and what makes someone a monster. I can’t recommend his books highly enough.

There are more, but those are the top four on my current list.

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