At the Texas Book Festival, we love authors from all around the world, and especially from Texas! Here are some Texas authors who are our true Valentines this season:
Don Tate: Living in Austin, TX, Don is a writer-illustrator extraordinaire! He is an award-winning author, and the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children. His most recent titles include Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions. He is also one of the founding hosts of the blog The Brown Bookshelf – a blog designed to increase awareness of the many African American voices writing for young readers, with book reviews, and author and illustrator interviews. Don is a member of TBF’s Children’s Author Selection Committee.
Sarah Bird: It’s only appropriate to honor Sarah in this Valentine, since she herself wrote a Love Letter to Texas Women in 2016! She has written nine novels, the most recent being Above the East China Sea. Sarah’s many accolades include having been selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers series, awarded a National Magazine Silver Award for her columns in Texas Monthly, and in 2012 was voted Best Austin Author for the fourth time by the readers of the Austin Chronicle. She is also an esteemed member of the Texas Book Festival Board of Directors.
Antonio Ruiz-Camacho: Antonio’s debut story collection, Barefoot Dogs, won the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction, and was named a Best Book of 2015 by Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Chronicle, Texas Observer and PRI’s The World. He is an Austin mainstay, having earned his MFA from The New Writers Project at UT Austin. Antonio was a John Garder Fellow at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Yaddo Fellow, and a Walter E. Dakin fellow in fiction at Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Antonio is also a member of our Author Selection Committee. (Check out Barefoot Dogs recently highlighted on the site Books Are Not A Luxury!)
Amanda Eyre Ward: Amanda’s newest book, The Nearness of You, is coming out this month, and Texans in Austin can catch her at BookPeople on February 22nd! Though originally born in New York, Amanda has made a name for herself as a bona fide Texas author. Her fifth novel, The Same Sky, was published on January 20, 2015. It was named one of the most anticipated books for 2015 by BookPeople and Book of the Week by People Magazine. She is also a member of TBF’s Author Selection Committee.
Benjamin Alire Saenz: A PEN/Faulkner Award and American Book Award winner, Benjamin is truly a Texas literary powerhouse. His novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His new book coming out in 2017 is The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. Benjamin was the recipient of TBF’s 2016 Texas Writer Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Texas literature.
Steve Harrigan: Steve is a longtime member of our Author Selection Committee and received TBF’s Texas Writer Award in 2011. Harrigan is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Gates of the Alamo, which became a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book, and received a number of awards, including the TCU Texas Book Award, the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. He is a faculty fellow at UT’s James A. Michener Center for Writers and a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly, and his newest book, They Came From the Sky: The Spanish Arrive in Texas, is coming out this year from UT Press.
Carmen Oliver: Texas author and longtime friend of the Texas Book Festival, Carmen is the author of picture books Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies and The Favio Chavez Story (forthcoming from Eerdmans). She is the founder of the Booking Biz, an agency devoted to bringing award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events, a contributor to ReaderKidz, and also judges children’s writing contents for us as well as for the Austin Family magazine.
Of course there are many, many more Texas authors out there who we know and love. Who are you reading this Valentine’s day? Share with us on Twitter and Facebook, and check out who we’re reading on Instagram !