I always find it interesting to learn where those who can live anywhere they choose, actually choose to live. This group obviously includes authors who can write from anywhere as long as they have access to a keyboard (or a pencil and napkin, I would guess!). This group of seven of my favorite authors have decided that Maine is where they call home – at least part of the year.
Maine authors often weave aspects of New England living into their stories, but sometimes, as in The Shining, Mr. King chose another state known for record snowfalls – in this case Colorado – in which to set his novel, but we all know it was inspired by the long, dark, snowy winters in Maine! Heeeere’s Johnny!
So if you enjoy the area, and want to support local Maine authors, browse this list of some of my favorites, along with a few recommendations for some great summer reading.
Christina Baker Kline – You might not immediately recognize the name, but likely you’re familiar with her bestselling book The Orphan Train. However, I recommend putting The Way Life Should Be about a disillusioned New Yorker who packs up and moves to a small cottage on the coast of Maine on your summer reading list. Christina herself grew up in Maine and summers on Mount Desert Island.
David Rosenfelt – The author of a series of mysteries starring Andy Carpenter, a lawyer from New Jersey who founded a dog rescue and often turns to his golden retriever to assist him, David Rosenfelt’s fiction resembles real life in many aspects. Several years ago, he and his wife moved from California to Damariscotta, Maine where he continues to write as well as run a golden retriever rescue organization. I recommend all of his books (there are currently 14 in the series) and am looking forward to his brand new novel Outfoxed coming out next month.
Stephen King – Of course I can’t forget quintessential Maine author Stephen King! We actually drove by his house in downtown Bangor last weekend. Being a fellow corgi owner, I follow him on Facebook where he shares the adventures of his corgi Molly aka Thing of Evil. I have enjoyed many of his 50 books, but I think The Green Mile will always remain my favorite.
Tess Gerritsen – Best selling author Tess Gerritsen has been writing medical mysteries since 1996. With a medial background herself, she was a shoe-in to follow the steps of authors like Robin Cook and Michael Palmer. She writes from her home in Camden where a movie based on one of her books is currently being filmed – and her bestselling series featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the television series “Rizzoli & Isles” starring Angie Harmon. I have read many of her novels over the years, but her very first novel Harvest, remains my favorite.
Stuart Woods – I think only Stephen King and James Patterson are more prolific than Stuart Woods, who is the author of more than 40 novels. His recent books feature the recurring character Stone Barrington, retired NYC cop turned private investigator. In another case of life imitating art, Mr. Woods is a licensed pilot, same as his character, and lives part of the year in Maine (on Mount Desert Island). You can’t go wrong with his lighthearted, irreverent romps – they’re great, quick beach reading -but for true Maine flavor, I think I would recommend Dark Harbor which revolves around a murder on the coast of Maine.
Martha Stewart – While “author” might not be the very first title you think of when you think of Ms. Stewart, she is the author of more than a dozen books on topics ranging from cooking and baking, to crafting and decorating for the holidays. Each is a veritable feast for the eyes, but my all-time favorite is The Martha Stewart Cookbook. Originally published in 1995, it remains a classic that deserves a spot on every bookshelf. Martha summers at her home Skylands in Seal Harbor.
Lisa Steele – And lastly, I am super excited to have joined this illustrious group of authors since moving “from away” last August to central Maine. I wrote my first two books in Virginia, but my third book titled Gardening with Chickens due out this December was written almost entirely here on our farm in Maine. Now to achieve the super star status of these other Maine authors! Maybe it’s the fresh, clean air tinged with the scent of pine here that inspires such creativity or maybe it’s the steady diet of lobster and blueberries….we shall see.
In the meantime, I urge you to check out the books from these great Maine authors and hopefully add a few to your summer reading list.