comScore Alaya Dawn Johnson on Writing and Book Advocacy | The Mary Sue

Our Books, Our Shelves: Alaya Dawn Johnson on Writing and Book Advocacy

author alaya dawn johnson

Award-winning author Alaya Dawn Johnson returns with a dazzling, daring new novel. Trouble the Saints is a magical love story, a compelling exposure of racial fault lines—and an altogether brilliant and deeply American saga.

The dangerous magic of The Night Circus meets the powerful historical exploration of The Underground Railroad in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s timely and unsettling novel, set against the darkly glamorous backdrop of New York City, where an assassin falls in love and tries to change her fate at the dawn of World War II.

Amid the whir of city life, a young woman from Harlem is drawn into the glittering underworld of Manhattan, where she’s hired to use her knives to strike fear among its most dangerous denizens.

Ten years later, Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything—not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams.

Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side—and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late—is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

Alaya Dawn Johnson sat down with us to discuss how to write about personal topics and how to advocate for the books you love.

Trouble the Saints will be available July 21st wherever books are sold. Pre-order your copy today!

Alaya Dawn Johnson has been recognized for her short fiction and YA novels, winning the 2015 Nebula Award for Best Novelette for “A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” which also appears in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy (2015), guest-edited by Joe Hill. Her debut YA novel, The Summer Prince, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her follow up YA novel, Love Is the Drug, won the Andre Norton Award in 2015. A native of Washington, D.C., Johnson is currently based in Mexico City, where she received a masters degree in Mesoamerican studies and sings in a blues band.

Don’t forget to check out the other excellent additions in our exclusive Our Books, Our Shelves column with Tor Books!

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: