I am constantly amazed to hear that many people don’t realize the Tennessee Valley is home to some great authors.
So, to start off 2019, I thought I’d visit some of the writers that you could run into at the grocery store.
As with any list, this one is subjective and only meant to introduce you to some talented local authors. I know there are more amazing authors and I will save them for a future list.
10 Valley Authors To Read in 2019
Homer Hickam (also known as Homer H. Hickam, Jr.) is the author of many bestsellers. Among his many writing awards, he has received the University of Alabama’s Clarence Cason Award and the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award for his memoirs and fiction plus an honorary Doctorate of Literature from Marshall University. While he may be most known for “Rocket Boys,” which was made into the movie “October Sky,” he has written many other books including his latest humorous tale, “Carrying Albert Home.” He currently resides in Huntsville.
Born in Georgia and raised in Alabama, Kelly Kazek is an unofficial Weird News Reporter.
She is the author of ten books, including the humor collections “Not Quite Right: Mostly True Tales of a Weird News Reporter” and “Fairly Odd Mother: Musings of a Slightly Off Southern Mom,” as well as books of regional history. In her career, she has won more than 180 state and national press awards, including two Alabama Associated Press Sweepstakes Awards for best story of the year, and national honors for Best Humorous Commentary and Feature Writer of the Year. She currently resides in Huntsville.
Tom Brandon has been an educator for many years at a small rural school in north Alabama. His awards include Teacher of the Year at his local school, the Coca-Cola Always Teaching Award, and the Steve Harvey Neighborhood Award. He is the author of “Mr. Brandon’s School Bus.”
Leslie Nicole Thomas
Leslie Nicole Thomas, poet and Huntsville native, taught creative writing and English literature in New York City and in San Francisco before returning home in 2004. She is the author of “Legendary Locals of Huntsville” and the poetry book, “Moving The Piano.”
Robert Bailey was born in Huntsville, where he again resides. Along with being an author, he is a civil defense trial lawyer in Huntsville. He is the author of the McMurtie & Drake Investigation series beginning with the first book, “The Professor.”
Beck McDowell, a young adult author, is a former middle and high school AP English teacher who lives in Huntsville. Her books include “This Is Not A Drill” and “Last Bus Out.”
David Hitt is the co-author of two books on spaceflight history: “Homesteading Space,” with astronauts Owen Garriott and Joe Kerwin, and “Bold They Rise,” with Heather R. Smith. A native of Huntsville, he currently supports NASA’s Space Launch System as a member of the strategic communications team.
Jacquelyn Procter Reeves
Jacquelyn Procter Reeves is a native of Las Vegas, New Mexico, who now resides in Huntsville. She is the author of more than 10 books relating to North Alabama history. “Wicked North Alabama” and “King Cotton To Space Capital” are two of her well-known works.
Chris Holmes has a mission: to encourage others to reach their full potential. Chris resides on a farm near Arab, and is also the owner of Deep South Mercantile n Arab. He is the author of “Note To Myself: Thoughts to Challenge and Encourage,” “The enCOURAGEment Challenge” and “Another Note to Myself: Thoughts to Challenge and Encourage.”
I feel humbled to include myself on this list of wonderful Tennessee Valley authors, but please feel free to check out any of my various titles.
- Wil Elrick hails from Guntersville, Alabama where at an early age he developed a love for both trivia and history. He has spent the last 20 odd years, fine tuning the art of communication while working in law enforcement, writing, television media, historical research, and public speaking. He lives in North Alabama with his two boys, and a neurotic German Shepherd Dog. He one day hopes that Bigfoot is proven real. Wil's new book Alabama Scoundrels is available from History Press.