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Artist Spotlight: Emily Henry is the romance author everyone needs

Emily Henry was born and raised in Cincinnati. Henry had a knack for creative writing from the time she was in elementary school. She took her talent to college and received a scholarship from Hope College in Michigan to pursue her writing while majoring in dance. Now a famous romance novelist, Henry is the best-selling author of “People We Meet on Vacation” and “Beach Read.”

Once attending Hope College, she realized her elementary-school dream of being a writer wasn’t far-fetched. She fell in love with her college writing classes and switched her major from dance to creative writing. After graduating she completed a residency at the New York Center for Arts and Media Studies, now a part of Bethel University. 

At the end of her residency, she returned to Cincinnati and began her career as a writer, publishing her first novel in 2016, “The Love that Split the World.” The story centers around mysterious disappearances in a small Kentucky town, turning into a life-altering love story. Henry’s debut novel was in the Young Adult category, and she stuck with the genre for her next book, “A Million Junes.” This book tells the story of the love between a daughter and son of two feuding families.

Henry released two more novels in 2019, “When The Sky Fell on Splendor” and “Hello Girls,” totaling four books in the YA category. Although these novels received good reviews and relative success, the release of Henry’s 2020 novel, “Beach Read,” sent her skyrocketing to the New York Times Best Seller list.

Taking place in North Bear Shores–the fictional village mirroring several Lake Michigan towns–come opposing authors, Augustus and January. Both Augustus and January live in lake houses for the summer, which just so happen to be next door to each other. While battling writer's block, they decide to switch roles for the summer and set out to write a novel in the other person's preferred genre. The story details the discovery of each other, themselves and a blossoming romance. 

“Beach Read” was met with immense success, receiving second place in the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance and was named one of Oprah Magazine's best romance novels of 2020. The accomplishments Henry saw with this novel haven’t stopped, as a movie adaptation of “Beach Read” is set to release in February 2024.  

The following year came Henry’s beloved novel, “People We Meet on Vacation,” a slow-burn romance between two best friends, Poppy and Alex. The two have taken over 10 vacations together, with one trip revealing a romantic connection. After that trip, their friendship is seemingly ruined, but the two reconnect for one final vacation that will change the course of their relationship. It’s one of Henry’s most renowned works, as the charming characters intertwine with page-turning events that make for an incredible story.

Henry proved herself as a standout romance novelist with “Beach Read,” but only continued to shine in the genre with the release of this novel. “People We Meet on Vacation” won the GoodReads Choice Award for Romance and was one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2021. “People We Meet on Vacation” is also set to have a movie adaptation with a release date to come. 

In 2022, Henry released yet another standout novel in the romance category, “Book Lovers.” Talented agent Nora Stephens agrees to go on a summer trip away from the city with her sister to the fictional town of Sunshine Falls. Proving the invisible string theory, Nora continuously runs into editor Charlie Lastra, someone she isn’t fond of in the publishing world back home. Throughout the summer, the two tumble into a romance neither of them saw coming. 

“Book Lovers” was an instant New York Times Best Seller and was voted the Most Anticipated Book of 2022. As if two movie adaptations weren’t enough, “Book Lovers” is also set to be a feature film in the coming years.

Her latest release “Happy Place,” published in April of 2023, is no different from the incredible works preceding it. “Happy Place” is about Harriet and Wyn, the seemingly perfect couple who broke up six months before the story takes place, but never told anyone. The two find themselves stuck in a summer house with all their friends as they pretend they are still together. Harriet and Wyn realize how much they still want each other, and the book beautifully details the trials of reconnection when it comes to love. 

Henry is set to release her next novel in April 2024. The book, “Funny Story,” will be about ex-fiances exploring the fake dating world. It’s sure to have as much success as her prior novels, and fans are already anticipating the release. 

Henry has made her mark within the romance genre. With many awards and loyal fans surrounding her work, Henry is going to be a long-standing success. If you’re looking for your new favorite author, or novels that capture your heart, Henry is perfect for you.

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