6 Female Novelists Taking The Literary World By Storm
Throughout history, there have been many women who have authored classic works of fiction. In recent years, new, ambitious writers have cropped up to add their own voices to this age-old art form. Whether you're a seasoned bibliophile, or simply looking for something new to read, the following are some talented female authors, listed in no particular order, who are making a splash in the writing community.
At #1, Tori Eldridge is the Anthony- and Lefty Award-nominated author of the Lily Wong mystery series. The first installment, The Ninja Daughter, is a thriller about a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja who battles the Los Angeles Ukrainian mob, sex traffickers, and her own family to save two desperate women and an innocent child. This author's short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and her screenplay, The Gift, was a semifinalist for the Academy Nicholl Fellowship.
Before she became a writer, Eldridge performed as an actress, singer, and dancer. Born of Hawaiian, Chinese, and Norwegian descent, she grew up in Honolulu and graduated from Punahou School alongside her classmate Barack Obama. She holds a fifth-degree black belt in To-Shin Do, and has traveled the USA teaching seminars on the ninja arts, weapons, and women’s self-defense. The second book in the Lily Wong series, The Ninja's Blade, was released in September of 2020.
Pam Webber, #2 on our list, is the author of the bestselling Southern novel The Wiregrass. The book was a Historical Novels Review Editors' Choice, and a Read of the Month at Southern Literary Review. Webber has also written extensively on the subject of nursing, and is an award-winning educator and family nurse-practitioner.
The Wiregrass, Webber's debut, follows fourteen-year-old cousins Nettie, J.D. Eric, and Sam as they navigate the physical and emotional turbulence of puberty, feel the excitement of first love, and run for their lives after they uncover an evil secret hidden in the shadows of their small town. Moon Water, which follows Nettie into her teenage years, was released in the summer of 2019.
Moving on to #3, Lisa Barr penned the novel The Unbreakables, as well as the award-winning historical thriller Fugitive Colors. The latter is a suspenseful tale of stolen art, love, lust, deception, and revenge on the eve of WWII. The novel won the IPPY gold medal for Best Literary Fiction in 2014, and first prize at The Hollywood Film Festival.
After earning a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Barr served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, Today's Chicago Woman, and the Chicago Sun-Times. In addition to writing books, she is the creator of the parenting blog GIRLilla Warfare, and has been featured on Good Morning America for her work as an author.
Novelist, teacher, and self-proclaimed Post-It enthusiast Claire Lombardo is #4 on our list. Her first book, the epic family saga The Most Fun We Ever Had, was a New York Times-bestseller and has been translated into over a dozen languages. The novel was also adapted for a series on HBO, written by the author herself and co-produced by Amy Adams and Laura Dern.
A graduate of the University of Illinois and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Lombardo's short fiction has appeared in publications such as Playboy and Barrelhouse Magazine, among others. Her short story, I Only Want to Talk About the Nice Things, was #1 on Longform's 2015 fiction list. Prior to writing her first novel, the author spent several years working with homeless children and families in Chicago.
Up next, at #5, Angelina J. Steffort is an Austrian novelist known for the bestselling Wings Trilogy, a paranormal romance series about the impossible love between a girl and an angel named Adam. After countless requests by fans of the Trilogy, Steffort committed to re-writing the entire series from Adam’s perspective. The author describes herself as a chocolate fanatic whose career path in writing was unexpected.
Steffort is also the author of the young adult fantasy series Two Worlds. With its first installment released in 2019, it follows the sixteen-year-old Maray Johnson, who is taken into an alternate dimension by a wounded boy. In addition to her work as an author, Steffort has an educational background in subjects including engineering, business, music, and acting.
Topping off the list at #6 is Karen Dionne. She is the bestselling writer of The Marsh King's Daughter, a psychological suspense novel set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula wilderness. Since its release, the book has been translated into over 20 languages. Her second work, the suspense tale The Wicked Sister, was published in August of 2020.
Dionne has been active in the literary community for over 20 years, having co-founded the online writers community Backspace, organized conferences, and served on the board of directors for the International Thriller Writers group. When she isn't working, this avid explorer enjoys observing and photographing nature.