Our Favorite Author Essays of 2017

Our Favorite Author Essays of 2017


Throughout 2017, Bookish invited authors to share their writing tips, inspiration, personal histories, and more with readers through short essays. These authors delved into a variety of fascinating topics, from the need for diversity in fairy tales to the right way to fictionalize a true crime. We loved each and every essay, but a few stood out in our memories. Here, our editors have rounded up their absolute favorite author essays of 2017.

Anna-Marie McLemore: “Everyone Is Worthy of Their Own Fairy Tales”

“Fairy tales exist in every tradition because of how they speak to us. They reveal how we are both flawed and miraculous.”

Anna-Marie McLemore, author of the YA novel Wild Beauty, discussed the importance of diversity in fairy tales.


The Theory of Connectivity: Do Ideas Choose the Right Writer at the Right Time?

Inspiration finds me… And that’s why we write, because on the good days, when the perfect idea finds us as the perfect time, we can all create magic.

Hazel Gaynor taught readers about the theory of connectivity.


Heather Gudenkauf: How My Hearing Loss Inspired My Deaf Heroine

I found that no matter their differences, people have a lot more in common than not. Ultimately, we are all searching for the same thing: our place in the world.

Heather Gudenkauf shared the story of discovering she was deaf in her left ear.


True Crime: How Actual Crimes Inspire Fiction

“Respect is an awfully powerful word that some writers tend to forget… Practice an abundance of empathy.”

Allegedly author Tiffany D. Jackson shared the story behind the real crime that inspired her YA novel and the vital importance of respect.


Jill Santopolo on Lessons Learned from Other Genres

“There’s that old writing mantra: Write what you know. And then there’s the addendum: Write it slant.”

After ten years as a children’s and young adult editor, Jill Santopolo picked up tricks that helped her craft her own adult novel.


Signs It’s Time To Say “Boy, Bye”

“Don’t go through this alone… I promise that you will find the right person someday—someone who treats you with the love and respect you deserve.”

Heather Demetrios broke down the signs to look for if you think you’re in an abusive relationship.


Brenda Jackson on the Importance of Diversity in Romance Novels

“When I began writing many years ago, I was told by several editors that there was no such thing as ‘black love.’ I proved them wrong.”

Brenda Jackson shared her dedication to ensuring that black Americans are represented in romance novels.


The Making of a Transgender Superhero

This is a book about a trans girl who learns that she has nothing to fear from the world, who knows who she is and what she’s capable of.

April Daniels explored the inspiration behind her transgender superhero Dreadnought.


Stop with the Toothpicks: Why We Need More Autistic Characters

The affections, loves, mishaps, and epiphanies of people on the spectrum are just as interesting, valid, and relatable as anyone else’s, and it’s time our literature and movies reflected that.

Claire LaZebnik got fed up with autistic stereotypes and decided to write a novel that challenged them.


How My Husband Inspired the Heroine of My Romance Novel

“Time heals, but the experience of war never goes away. It fades along with the scars. But it remains a part of your new reality.”

Jennifer Ryan shared how her experiences with her husband shaped the writing of His Cowboy Heart.


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