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A guide to Indy’s best-selling authors

Three books by Indy authors stacked

Books by Ashley C. Ford, John Green + Leah Johnson

Table of Contents

Kick off NaNoWriMo with some best-selling authors, who coincidentally all hail from the Circle City.

But hold on, don’t know what NaNoWriMo means? The acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month, a time when beginning + advanced writers embark on a 50,000 word journey in a single month. You can learn more about NaNoWriMo’s Indy community by taking part in their Facebook group.

Now that we have that squared away, here are three writers with Circle City ties:

📗 John Green

John emerged into the pop culture mainstream with “The Fault in Our Stars,” which was successfully adapted onto the big screen in 2014. The book put John — and Indyon the map, as it famously featured Funky Bones — a sculpture you can find in the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park. The author has been writing YA novels for 16 years + has lived in Indy since 2007. His latest release, “The Anthropocene Reviewed,” is a compilation of essays on the “human-centered planet” + is based on his groundbreaking podcast by the same name.

📕 Leah Johnson

Leah centered the narrative of her debut novel, “You Should See Me in a Crown” on the life of a queer Black high schooler in a fictional small town near Indy. Not too long after its release, Reese Witherspoon added it to her renowned book club, making it the first YA novel to be featured. “A tried and true, lifelong Hoosier,” Leah picked up writing in 5th grade + has published essays in publications like Teen Vogue + Harper’s Bazaar. Her second book, “Rise to the Sun,” was released this year. Fun fact: her mother, Renee Pack, is a state representative for Indianapolis.

📘 Ashley C. Ford

Well-known for her essays, Ashley was put on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in 2017. Her debut memoir, “Somebody’s Daughter” was an instant New York Times best-seller. The novel, released just four months ago, was published under Oprah’s imprint + discusses growing up in Indiana and her complicated relationships with her family. Ashley chose to move back to Indy this year + has said how much she loves Irvington during the spooky season. Welcome home, Ashley. She was a writer-in-residence at Ball State University this fall. (City Editor Anna’s alma mater).

Pro tip: You can borrow the audiobooks by any of these authors via Libby, an Audible-like app connected to the Indianapolis Public Library. If you feel like supporting a local business, learning more about our hometown authors is also a great excuse to visit one of Indy’s many independent bookstores.


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