Famous Californian Writers

The La Jolla Writer’s Conference kicks off in just under two months and openings for registration are selling out quickly. This year marks the thirteenth anniversary for the giant literary festival, which brings thousands of writers, agents and readers to our shores for three days. The schedule of events includes workshops on pitching your story, reading and critiquing sessions and interviews with a selection keynote speakers, like Best Selling crime fiction writers, Lisa Jackson and Christopher Reich. The Writer’s Conference is a golden opportunity for aspiring authors to demystify the creative and publishing process by taking advice from authors and industry personal, who are there to offer practical, first-hand advice.

To get everybody excited and ready for the occasion, we thought we’d take a look at a varied selection of authors from the State of California. We’ve tried to cover a wide variety of genres and eras, showing the diversity of opportunities out there – if you’ve got something to say and you can say it well, there’s a book waiting to be written.

John Steinbeck
Born: Salinas (1902 – 1968)
Genre: Literary Fiction
It’s safe to assume that everybody reading this has encountered a novel, novella or short story written by John Steinbeck at some stage in their schooling career. One of the great American authors, Steinbeck gave us classics like The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

Jack London (John Griffith)
Born: San Francisco (1878 – 1916)
Genre: Literary Fiction
Another great American author whose work will probably still be taught at schools for generations to come. A man of great wisdom and complexity, his work included triumphant stories like The Call of the Wild and his haunting memoir, John Barleycorn.

Tony Robbins
Born: North Hollywood (1960)
Genre: Self-Help
If motivating people wasn’t his thing, Tony Robinson could have played pro basketball. Standing somewhere around 6’ 7”, the big man has pumped out a series of motivational books, movies and seminars that have turned lives around and built an empire.

Sally Ride
Born: Los Angeles (1951 – 2012)
Genre: Education
Sally Ride’s literary career is often outshone by her earlier accomplishments – she was the first American woman in space. This courageous and inspiring astronaut, physicist and former professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego went on to co-author a collection of children’s books about the solar system, space exploration and how to look after the planet.

Garth Stein
Born: Los Angeles (1964)
Genre: Literary Fiction
If you haven’t read, The Art of Racing in the Rain, odds are someone you know has. And they loved it. Garth Stein grew up in Seattle, but came kicking and screaming into this world via Los Angeles.

Francesca Lia Block
Born: Los Angeles (1962)
Genre: Magic Realism Fiction/Poetry/ Visual Art
Francesca Lia Block wowed the literary world when she wrote Weetzie Bat, an incredible tale set in a strange and surreal version of Los Angeles, while she was still a student at Berkley. She has gone on to win numerous awards and pen more imaginative, socially/politically engaged works of fiction that blur the lines between traditional storytelling and fairytale.

Brett Easton Ellis, Los Angeles
Born: Los Angeles (1964)
Genre: Literary Fiction
Brett Easton Ellis is another Los Angeles native whose work as a young person blew peoples’ minds. At twenty one he published a best-seller Less Than Zero. A few years later, still in his twenties, he put American Psycho, a controversial novel that punches you in the nose, pats you on the back and pours you a shot of tequila all in one go.

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