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Local Authors from the Southwest

The best thing about being a writer is that you can do it from anywhere. The best thing about reading is that you can go anywhere through stories. Here we want to celebrate authors from around the US, and help readers find stories and authors to support. Every state has some famous faces, but we also want to focus on new authors so for each state, you will see the more well-known picks and a spotlight author to check out. You might find a new favorite!

If you don’t see your state, don’t worry. You can explore authors from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming in Local Authors of the Northwest and be sure to check back in a month for the next part of our series!

Debut Arizona Author: Kiley Reid

Kiley Reid earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was awarded the Truman Capote Fellowship and taught undergraduate creative writing workshops with a focus on race and class. Her short stories have been featured in Ploughshares, December, New South, and Lumina. Reid currently lives in Philadelphia, but is originally from the grand canyon state. Her debut novel Such a Fun Age came out in 2019 to immediate rave reviews.
Such a Fun Age Book Cover
Such a Fun Age
from $3.99

Debut California Author: Tara Jepsen

Tara Jepsen is a writer and actor living in Los Angeles, California. She's appeared in Emmy-winning series Transparent. She and longtime collaborator Beth Lisick created, wrote and acted in original web series Rods and Cones, released by Jill Soloway and Rebecca Odes's in September 2014, named one of Indiewire's 25 Best Series/Creators of 2014. Her first book, Like a Dog, is imbued with her humor throughout, as well as a wonderful tenderness. It follows a 30 year-old skateboarder as she takes stock of her life and finds herself.
Like a Dog (City Lights/Sister Spit) Book Cover
Like a Dog (City Lights/Sister Spit)
from $5.19

Debut Colorado Author: David Heska Wanbli Weiden

2020 debut novel from David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts, earned several award nominations and a won the 2021 Spur Award for Best Contemporary Novel, plus was an IndieBound and Amazon bestseller and made several best of 2020 lists including Publisher Weekly's prestigious list. The novel is a thriller set on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and follows protagonist Virgil as he transforms into a vigilante in search of justice that was denied him, and searches for the source of the drugs that are ravaging his community. Author Weiden is an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota nation. He's earned an MFA in Creative Writing and a law degree, and is currently a professor of Native American Studies and Political Science in Colorado.
Winter Counts Book Cover
Winter Counts
from $4.29

Debut Nevada Author: Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of Battleborn, winner of the Story Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Battleborn was named a Best Book of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Time Out New York, and Flavorwire, and a Best Short Story Collection by In 2012, the National Book Foundation named Claire one of the 5 Best Writers Under 35. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, Best of the Southwest 2013, and elsewhere. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno and the Ohio State University, Claire has received fellowships from the Writers' Conferences at Sewanee and Bread Loaf. An assistant professor at Bucknell University, Claire is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.
Gold Fame Citrus Book Cover
Gold Fame Citrus
from $4.19

Spotlight New Mexico Author: Denise Chávez

While not a new author, we want to spotlight Denise Chávez for her wonderful books and growing career. Chávez is a performance writer, novelist, and teacher whose work celebrates the border corridor of southern New Mexico, West Texas, and northern México. Her novel Face of an Angel (1994) won the American Book Award and her The King and Queen of Comezón (2014) won the 2015 International Latino Book Award and the New Mexico-Arizona Award for fiction. Her other books include Loving Pedro Infante (2001) and A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture (2006). Chávez is director of Casa Camino Real, a cultural center, bookstore, and art gallery on the historic Camino Real in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The King and Queen of Comezón Book Cover
The King and Queen of Comezón
from $5.09

Debut Utah Author: Justin T. Call

Justin Travis Call is a graduate of Harvard University and the author of Master of Sorrows, Book 1 of the Silent Gods series. He is also CEO of Broomstick Monkey Games and co-designer of the board games Imperial Harvest and Royal Strawberries. Justin currently lives in Park City, Utah, with his wife, his two sons, his Great Dane (Pippa) and his Saint Bernard-mastiff (Herbie). His first book, Master of Sorrows, came out in February 2020 and is the first of a series. The next book of the series is set to release in May of 2021.
Master of Sorrows Book Cover
Master of Sorrows
from $16.52

Explore authors from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming in Local Authors of the Northwest. Check back in a month for the next part of our series!

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