They're the reason people keep trying to write. (Aside from that nagging little parasite in your ear, continually popping out to ask "So, have you done any writing lately?" and winkling itself back in again before you can get him with the tweezers.)
Debut authors who make it big - J. K. Rowling, E. L. James, S. J. Watson, and all those other initials. Who doesn't dream of being one? For most, it's a slow burn, gradually building an audience until one day you're on top of the pile. That's how it worked for Ian Rankin and Hilary Mantel, and even Dan Brown had three books behind him before his sudden leap to the peak. Who can predict the next big thing?
As they say in showbiz - no one knows anything.
So here's your chance to take a look at the crop of new authors for this year, before requests go sky-high. Which do you think will make it big?
City of Dark Magic - Magnus Flyte
Shadow on the Crown - Patricia Bracewell
The Office of Mercy - Ariel Djanikian
The River of No Return - Bee Ridgway
Julia Percy mourns the death of her grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly
Billy and Me - Giovanna Fletcher
When you've got the dream boyfriend everything should be perfect, right? So why isn't it? wonders Sophie May. When Sophie and Billy met and fell in love, she thought she was living in a fairytale. She's the only girl for him. But being on Billy's arm comes at a price - because Billy is a film star.
Natural Causes - James Oswald
A young girl's mutilated body is discovered in a sealed room. Her remains are carefully arranged in what seems to have been a cruel and macabre ritual, which appears to have taken place over 60 years ago. For Detective Inspector Tony McLean this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority, but he is - quite literally - haunted by the young victim.
Ghostman - Roger Hobbs
When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone. A criminal’s criminal and professional fixer who does entirely as he pleases. Within hours a private jet is flying him from Seattle to New Jersey and into a spectacular mess: one heister dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows where and the FBI waiting for him at the airport. He has only forty-eight hours until the twice-stolen cash literally explodes. He's not Jack Reacher - he's just Jack.
Thorn Abbey - Nancy Ohlin
The Falconer - Elizabeth May
18-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined to a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery kills her mother. Now it’s the 1844 winter season. Between endless parties, Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother. But she never even considered that she might become attracted to one: Kiaran MacKay, the faery who trained her to kill his own kind. And Midwinter is approaching, and with it an eclipse that has the ability to unlock a Fae prison and begin the Wild Hunt. A battle looms, and Aileana is going to have to decide how much she’s willing to lose – and just how far she’ll go to avenge her mother’s murder.