Picking Their Brains: Authors' Top Reads of 2018

We've all heard the advice that writers should read to become better writers, but where to start? What are writers reading? I've asked a few indie authors what their favorites reads were this year and here's what they had to say. Many thanks to these fine authors for sharing their recommendations:

Best: For me it is a tie between Richard Nell's Kings of Paradise and Straight Outta Fangton by Charles Phipps —Michael R. Baker, author of The Thousand Scars

I only read three books this year, and really enjoyed all of them: CT Phipps's I was a Teenage Weredeer, ML Spencer's Darkmage, and Rob Hayes's Where Loyalties Lie. Still hoping to finish AM Justice's A Wizard's Forge over the holidays. —Matt Gilbert, author of The Dead God's Due

The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding (Total shocker, I know lol). Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence. Paternus by Dyrk Ashton. —Rob J. Hayes, author of City of Kings

Fantasy: Godblind by Anna Stevens. Non Fiction: On Writing by Stephen King. Historical Fiction: Men of Bronze by Scott Oden. Added bonus... Worst book I’ve read (apart from mine) Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell...DNF —Paul S. Lavender, author of The Eighth God

Two books stand out from the last year - Orconomics by J Zachary Pike (currently doing well in SPFBO) and The Green Man's Heir by Juliet E McKenna. —Martin Owton, author of Exile

I dove into an anthology of Penny Dreadfuls this year with classics like Diary of a Madman and Sawney Beane. I love this kind of work because of the different flavors of diction that they provide. Read some Charles Phipps. The stuff I got ahold of for him was a kind of slapstick horror mixed with blood-pumping action. That is not a super accurate description but for the last few months I have been trying to categorize his work unsuccessfully. This is the best I can do right now. I read Bone by Jeff Smith this year, if you haven't, you should. And look for ML Spencer she is a woman in fire. —Jesse Teller, author of Song

My favorite read this year was definitely Darkmage by M.L. Spencer, though I really enjoyed Fae: The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, I Was a Teenage Weredeer by Charles Phipps, and a re-read of Firestarter by Stephen King. —Richard Writhen, author of Hiss of the Blade

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