From best-selling thrillers to children’s books, some of the greatest reads today have been penned by authors right here in Orange County. This summer, pick up a novel from an international publishing superstar or read to your children an Amazon best-seller while taking pride in their local roots. Whether they write about fantasy, history or mystery, these five Orange County authors have been able to put pen to paper and create stories that both entertain and educate the world around them.
Walk into any bookstore and you’ll find Dean Koontz’s books on display and lining the shelves in the best-seller section. Koontz is an internationally renowned mystery and suspense novelist who resides in the Newport Beach area. His books are published in 38 different languages, and he has sold more than 450 million copies to date. His latest book, “Deeply Odd,” is his sixth about a young fry cook who can see the dead and has been well received and reviewed by literary critics.
Martin Dugard is an international man of history who happens to reside in Rancho Santa Margarita. This New York Times bestselling author is known for his well-researched, historical narratives such as “Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot,” which he co-wrote with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. This book documents the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Recently, Dugard co-wrote another best-seller with O’Reilly, “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever,” which has sold nearly two million copies.
Sheri Fink has built herself a “whimsical world” that includes roses, gnomes and nature. Her first book, “The Little Rose,” was published in March 2011 and became a best-seller on Amazon for more than 60 weeks. “Exploring the Garden with the Little Rose” debuted in October 2012 and takes young children on an educational adventure while helping them develop analytical skills. The book allows children to explore nature and teaches them to accept who they are and embrace the world around them. Recently, the Kindle edition of this book debuted at No. 1 on the Amazon best-seller list.
Garett Gruber has created “the official and only source of information on both monster removal and identification.” His children’s picture book, “Monster Removal Guide,” was selected to receive the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval in 2011. It is not only funny and clever, but the book fuels children’s imaginations and takes them through effective methods of monster removal.
If you’re searching for a great children’s book for your child’s bedtime ritual, “Feed Your Fish” may be just what you’re looking for. Michael Madlener wrote this entertaining story about a boy and his fish in a style akin to Dr. Suess’ classics. This preschool-level picture book has earned the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval and turned this local author into a household name among parents.
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Truc Dever is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.