Florida has long been a source of inspiration for writers. With hurricanes, exotic animals, and general craziness, there’s no shortage of material. Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West. Zora Neale Hurston grew up in Eatonville, near Orlando. Here is a look at five bestselling authors who call Florida home today.
1. James Patterson
Patterson is the world’s No. 1 bestselling author. He cranks out bestsellers almost faster than McDonald’s flips hamburgers. The former advertising executive, who holds the record for the most “New York Times” No. 1 bestsellers (67), lives with his wife, Sue, in Lake Worth Beach, Florida. The 74-year-old author is best known for his Alex Cross mysteries. In recent years, he also has written bestselling books for children. He and Dolly Parton are working on a novel titled, “Run, Rose, Run” set for publication in 2022.
2. Carl Hiaasen
Hiaasen is Florida’s native son. After attending the University of Florida, Hiaasen joined the “Miami Herald,” where he built a reputation for his investigative work and later as a columnist taking satirical dead aim at politicians. Since the 1980s, Hiaasen, 68, has written a steady stream of bestsellers, including “Strip Tease,” “Sick Puppy,” and “Squeeze Me.” Some books were made into movies. Apple TV is working on a series based on Hiaasen’s book, “Bad Monkey.” He lived in the Florida Keys for a decade before retiring to Vero Beach.
3. Judy Blume
Blume and her husband George Cooper, a true-crime writer, have a home in Key West. Blume wrote a series of groundbreaking, wildly popular children’s books in the 1970s, including, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing.” Blume, 83, also wrote adult books, including “Wifey” and “Smart Women.” Her stories’ popularity and relevancy continue. Lionsgate recently wrapped up production on a film adaptation of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.”
4. Stephen King
King, 73, is one of the newer resident-authors. In April, he purchased a home in Casey Key, a barrier island paradise near Sarasota, for $8.9 million. The 6,817 square-foot mansion includes a pool, tennis court and view of the Gulf of Mexico. King, who is a master at horror stories, is known for thrillers, such as “The Shining” and “Misery.” He was previously associated with his Bangor, Maine home, which includes a gate decorated with a vampire and bats
5. Dave Barry
Like Hiaasen, Barry enjoyed a successful career at the “Miami Herald,” where his wife is a sportswriter. The “New York Times” called Barry “the funniest man in America. In 1988, he won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary. The versatile, bestselling author has hit books in fiction, nonfiction and young adult genres. Two of his books were the basis for the CBS sitcom “Dave’s World.” The 74-year-old Miami resident continues to write and also plays lead guitar in a rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, a tongue-in-cheek reference to books that don’t sell well. Other band members include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom.
There are other recognizable names, including Tim Dorsey, Edna Buchanan, and Michael Connelly of “Bosch” and “Lincoln Lawyer” fame. Connelly splits his time between homes in Tampa and Los Angeles. And who knows? One day you may write the “Great American Novel” and join the list of five bestselling authors who call Florida home!