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Top 15 Most Famous Contemporary Book Authors & Their Famous Books (2024)


Are you interested in making a career as an author? Does writing fiction, nonfiction, or romance novels interest you? Do you believe you have an epic story to share with the world? If the answers to all these questions are affirmative, perhaps you should learn from the best living authors of today to understand how they started out and what inspired them to produce bestselling content. Continue reading this blog to learn about the early life, awards, famous books, and interests of popular writers today.

List Of 15 Famous Current Authors and Their Books

1. Stephen King

Stephen King is a popular American fiction author who has written several books on crime and supernatural beings. He is the best-known author in the horror genre. People around the world love reading his books. He is one of the best authors of our time who has successfully published more than a hundred short stories.

  • Awards won

Stephen King has won various awards over the years for his contributions to the book industry. In 2004, he was awarded for presenting a unique writing approach through his books. He is also the winner of the fantasy life achievement award, which is like a dream come true for an author!

  • Stephen King’s Early Life

Ever since his childhood, Stephen King was an avid reader of horror novels. He started writing articles and short stories in his childhood and sold them to his friends. It is said that Stephen King writes intense novels after having witnessed traumatizing accidents as a child.

In 1970, Stephen got his degree in the English language from the University of Maine.

  • Famous Books

While Stephen King has written an extensive range of horror fiction, some of his most popular books include It, The Shining, and The Stand. The fact that there are movie adaptations for each of these novels shows how famous these books are.

  • Interests of Stephen King

Apart from writing, Stephen King is fond of music. He helped Michael Jackson make his music videos and collaborated with him on various occasions. Stephen dedicated 4 to 6 hours a day to writing and reading. He believes that for a person to become a good writer, they must take out time for it every day.

2. J.K Rowling

Who doesn’t know J.K. Rowling, the author of the famous Harry Potter series? She is a British novelist, who has successfully sold about 500 million books of the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter’s success is evident considering the 70+ languages the book was translated into.

  • Awards Won

J.K Rowling has received numerous awards for her book Harry Potter alone. In 2000, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban won the Book of the Year award against a Nobel Prize winner. She was also rewarded for her contribution to children’s books. Besides that J.K Rowling received awards from France, Spain, and other countries, including the Most Influential Woman in the United Kingdom.    

  • J.K Rowling’s Early Life

J.K Rowling wrote her first book at the age of six. She wrote another short story called, “The Seven Cursed Diamonds” when she turned 11 years old. She was an avid reader due to which her home was filled with books.

Unfortunately, J.K Rowling didn’t have a very great childhood. After her mother’s passing, most of her teenage years were spent suffering.

  • Famous Books

Besides the Harry Potter series, J.K Rowling has also written multiple other books that received love and appreciation from around the world. Her book, The Cuckoo’s Calling became a bestseller in 2013.

What’s amazing is that The Harry Potter series was rejected by several publishers but J.K Rowling didn’t give up. She kept improving her content until it became the bestselling novel of all time.

  • Interests of J.K Rowling

Like Stephen King, music is one of the many interests of J.K Rowling. She loves playing the electric guitar and also plays an active part in politics.

3. John Grisham

John Ray Grisham is an American lawyer and novelist, famous for writing popular thrillers. He has sold 300+ million copies of his books worldwide.

  • Awards Won

John Grisham has won the following awards:

  • Harper Lee Prize for his book Sycamore Row in 2014
  • Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction in 2009
  • Galaxy British Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007
  • Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1993
  • Early Life

John Grisham wanted to be a baseball player as a child. He has four siblings and lived with his family in Mississippi. Although Grisham’s parents weren’t educated, they encouraged him to study and prepare for college. Grisham changed three colleges before finally getting a degree. He studied law and worked in Brazil for missionary work. 

  • Famous Books

Following are some of the most popular novels written by John Grisham:

  • The Testament
  • The Firm
  • The Broker
  • The client
  • The Chamber
  • A time for mercy series
  • Interests of John Grisham

Grisham studied law because of his interest in criminal justice. He actively participates in politics and is a member of the Innocence Project. Most of his books are based on law and crime, which is how he keeps up with his passion and interests.

4. Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel is an American writer born in 1947. She is best known for writing a series of romance novels for young adults. Danielle has sold over 800 million copies of her books so far and is renowned as the fourth-bestselling fiction author of all time. Till now, she has written about 190 books, including novels.

  • Awards Won

Despite being a successful author, most of the awards Danielle received were for her contributions to world culture. These include:

  • Outstanding Achievement Award in 2003 for working with Larkin Street Youth Services.
  • Distinguished Service Award for contributing to the American Psychiatric Association
  • Service to Youth Award for helping children and adolescents with mental health issues to improve their lifestyle.
  • Early Life

Danielle was born in New York to a Portuguese mother and a German father. She spent her childhood in France, where she got a chance to observe famous and wealthy individuals at her parent’s dinner parties. Danielle’s parents divorced when she was eight years old, after which she spent most of her days living with her father.

Danielle wrote short stories as a child and also showed a keen interest in poetry during her teenage years. She studied fashion and literature design at New York University.

  • Famous Books

Some of the most popular books of Danielle include:

  • All that Glitters
  • Spy
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Message from Nam
  • Jewels
  • The Gift
  • Echoes
  • Safe Harbor
  • Silent horror and many more.

Amongst the many books she wrote, Safe Harbor sold the most copies.

  • Interests of Danielle Steel

Besides writing books, Danielle has shown a keen interest in fashion and addressing children’s mental health issues. She held a fundraiser every two years and used the money to treat mental accessibility issues in young adults.

5. John Green

John Green is a 40-year-old American writer, famous for his bestseller novels The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Town. Both novels got movie adaptations and received huge success at the box office.

  • Award Won

John Green has won various awards for his contributions to the literary world. For Paper Town, he received the Edger Award for Best Young Adult Novel. For Looking for Alaska, he received the Michael L. Printz Award. He also received the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction for The Fault in Our Stars.  

  • Early Life of John Green

John Green didn’t write as a child, unlike the other authors. In fact, his first job was that of a clerk in a hospital. During his teenage years, he got bullied a lot by his fellow classmates. This made his academic journey quite miserable. The good thing is that John Green overcame his initial struggles and completed double graduation in 2000 from Kenyon College. The subjects he studied were Religious Studies and the English language.

After working at the hospital, John Green reflected on his creativity and chose to become an author.

  • Famous Books

Besides The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Town, John Green is famous for the following books:

  • Looking for Alaska in 2005
  • Turtles all the way down in 2017
  • An abundance of Katherines in 2006
  • Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances in 2008
  • Interests of John Green 

If you get to know about John Green’s interests besides writing, you might think about how he got the time to write at all. John Green is indeed an all-rounder who made sure to make everything he did a success. He has several YouTube channels, has worked for radio, actively participates in fundraising and charity, and provides coaching to newbie writers. Engaging a Biography writer for hire could be beneficial for authors like John Green who wish to showcase their multifaceted talents while ensuring their life stories is skillfully documented.

6. James Patterson

Born in 1947, James Patterson is an American author famous for writing several stand-alone romance, non-fiction, fiction, and thriller novels. Patterson remained the highest-paid author for three consecutive years earning $95 million, according to Forbes. Over the years, Patterson encouraged everyone to read more books. He also donated millions of dollars, supporting universities and bookstores and giving college students a chance to study through scholarships.

  • Awards won

The National Book Foundation awarded Patterson the Literarian Award in 2015, appreciating his passionate campaign to make books a national priority. Over the years, Patterson received the following awards:

  • The Edgar Award
  • International Thriller of the Year award
  • BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year
  • Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year.
  • Early Life

Patterson’s father was an insurance broker while his mother was a teacher and a homemaker. He completed his B.A. in English from Manhattan College and his Master’s from Vanderbilt University.

Patterson landed a job in advertising and retired in 1996, after which he devoted his time to writing.

  • Famous Books

Patterson has written over 200 novels, with more than 114 novels becoming New York’s bestsellers. Thus, he has set a record of #1 New York Times bestsellers by a single author. Some of his famous books include:

  • Women’s Murder Club
  • Alex Cross
  • Michael Bennett
  • Witch and Wizard
  • Daniel X
  • Maximum Ride
  • Interests of James Patterson

Besides reading and writing, James Patterson enjoys playing golf with his friends.

7. Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is famous for her book Forty Rules of Love. She is a Turkish author, who writes both fiction and non-fiction in English and Turkish. Like J.K Rowling, her books have been translated into over 50 languages. Having a Turkish background, Shafak’s work resonates with both the eastern and western worlds. In her novels, she touches on the issues prevailing in our society and uses her creativity to resolve those problems. Elif Shafak is also an activist and does many other things besides book writing.

  • Awards Won

Elif Shafak is an activist and has won several awards for her involvement in politics. Nevertheless, she has gained significant recognition in the book industry for her contributions. Last year, Elif Shafak made it to BBC’s list of 100 most inspiring and influential women. She also won numerous awards for speaking out on different social issues.

Apart from her non-literary awards, Elif received both international and national awards for her books. She won a Turkish literary award called ‘Rumi’ for her first book and the Best Novel award for The Gaze.

Also Read: How to Get a Literary Agent for Your Book

  • Early Life

Elif Shafak was born in France but raised in Turkey. She didn’t have a father figure around while growing up and was raised by her grandmother and mother. Later, in her mid-twenties, Elif met her half-brothers. 

Elif acquired a Ph.D. in political science and taught at various institutes in Turkey.

  • Famous Books

Bastards of Istanbul and Forty Rules of Love are the two most famous books written by Elif Shafak. However, almost all of her books have been nominated for literary awards, of which she won some. She has written a total of 19 books, including non-fiction and fiction.

  • Interests of Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak’s keen interest in addressing social issues is evident in almost all her novels. Having been so active in highlighting social problems, Elif spent a period of three years in jail. To date, Elif actively participates in social and political activities. She signed various petitions for stuff she knew wasn’t right and taught in universities, educating young adults on different topics.

8. Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz is one of the best authors today. Born in 1945, Koontz wrote his first book Star Quest in 1968. He is famous for writing science fiction and suspense thrillers for young adults but frequently incorporates elements of satire, mystery, fantasy, and horror. Koontz has over 450 million copies of his work and published over 105 novellas, short stories, and novels.

  • Awards Won

Dean Koontz has won the following awards for his contributions to the book industry:

  • Ross Macdonald Literary Award in 2003
  • World Horror Convention Grand Master Award in 1996
  • Goodreads Choice Awards Best Horror for his book Saint Odd in 2015

He also got nominated for various other awards:

  • Prometheus Award for Best Novel for Dark Rivers of the Heart
  • Locus Award for Best Short Story for Beastchild
  • Locus Award for Best Novel for Beastchild
  • Hugo Award for Best Novella for Beastchild


  • Early Life

Unfortunately, unlike other authors discussed earlier, Koontz did not have a very nice childhood. His father was an alcoholic who used to abuse him, much of what influenced his writing.

He went to Shippensburg State College and won an award in fiction writing from Atlantic Monthly magazine. He graduated in 1967 and worked as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School in Pennsylvania.

Like other authors, Koontz worked a lot, raising funds for poor and domestically abused children.

  • Famous Books

Some of Koontz’s best works include:

  • Odd Thomas
  • The Eyes of Darkness
  • Watchers
  • Phantoms
  • Devoted
  • Intensity
  • The Silent Corner
  • Interests of Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz spends most of his time during the day writing books. He feels like writing for 11 hours a day helps him get absorbed more into the story than writing for 6 hours daily. However, despite writing for several hours a day, Koontz and his wife have shown interest in antiques, art, and architecture. Engaging a Ghostwriting service could be an ideal solution for authors like Koontz who wish to focus extensively on their craft while still maintaining diverse interests.

9. Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-American author of the famous novel, The Kite Runner. He’s in his late fifties and a member of the United Nations. He is also the goodwill ambassador for UNHCR.

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul but spent his childhood and teenage years in France and Iran. Then, he went to the USA before returning to Afghanistan in 2003.

  • Awards Won

Khaled Hosseini received his first award a year after publishing his first book. A Thousand Splendid Suns, his second novel, also received three awards. His third novel, And the Mountains Echoed, also received one award. In short, Khaled Hosseini has received an award for all his successful books, which is considered a big achievement for any author.

  • Early Life

While Khaled Hosseini lived in Afghanistan, life was simple and free from threats. It was only after Khaled left his motherland due to the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, did he lose his family and friends. According to the author, they never came to learn what became of their friends and relatives back in Afghanistan as most of them either got imprisoned or killed.

Khaled’s father was in the ministry, and his mother was a teacher. He graduated in 1988 in Biology in the USA and landed his first job as a physician, following which he earned a doctorate in medicine. Hosseini worked in medicine for ten years before quitting his job and pursuing a career as an author.

  • Famous Books

Among Hosseini’s most prominent works is The Kite Runner, his first published book in 2003. The book became a bestseller and also got a movie adaptation. His other two famous books are:

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • And The Mountains Echoed
  • Interests of Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini actively raises his voice against the Afghan war and has set up the Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help Afghan refugees.

10.  R.L. Stine

Otherwise known as Eric Affabee or Jovial Bob Stine, R.L. Stine is an American novelist famous for writing horror fiction for children. He is a screenwriter, an executive director, a television producer, and a short story writer

R.L Stine has written about a hundred horror fiction novels for kids. He is also known as the Stephen King of Children’s horror fiction. Some of his popular series include The Nightmare Room, Mostly Ghostly, Rotten School, Goosebumps, and Fear Street. Stine had sold over 400 million copies of his literary work worldwide by 2008. For authors inspired by his success and looking to create captivating children's books, consider hiring children's book writers could be a valuable step in bringing their imaginative tales to life.

  • Awards Won

R.L. Stine has won the following awards for his contributions to the literary industry: 

  • Audie Award for Young Listeners for The Little Shop Of Monsters 
  • Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book for Deep Trouble II (Goosebumps series) 
  • 2002 Champion of Reading Award
  • Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards
  • Thriller Writers of America Silver Bullet Award in 2007
  • Horror Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014
  • The Inkpot Award in 2017. 

R.L. Stine also made it to the list of “Most Intriguing People,” in 2003 on People’s Weekly. Furthermore, the Guinness Book of World Records regarded R.L. Stine as the bestselling author of all time for children’s book series. 

  • Early Life 

R.L. Stine was born in Columbus, Ohio. He was the son of a shipping clerk and belonged to a Jewish family. R.L. Stine showed his passion for writing at the age of nine. He had found a typewriter in the attic of his house and used it to write joke books and short stories. 

R.L. Stine graduated from Ohio State University and acquired a bachelor’s degree in English. Later, he pursued his career as a full-time author after moving to New York. 

  • Famous Books 
  • Night of the Living Dummy – Goosebumps seriesMonster Blood – Goosebumps series
  • The New Girl – Fear Street
  • Attack of the Jack o’ Lanterns- Goosebumps series 
  • Don’t stay up late – Fear Street
  • The best friend – Fear Street
  • College weekends – Fear Street
  • The secret bedroom –Fear Street 
  • Say cheese and die – Goosebumps series
  • Stay out of the basement – Goosebumps series
  • Be careful what you wish for – Goosebumps series
  • Interests of R.L. Stine 

Besides writing horror fiction, R.L Stine was fond of drawing comic books, so much he thought he would become a comic book artist. Unfortunately, his drawing talent was overpowered by his love for writing and he pursued a career in writing growing up. 

11.  Alice Walker 

Alice Walker is an African American social activist, poet, and novelist. She is in her mid-70s and has published 12 non-fiction novels, 17 short story collections, and several poetry and essays. 

  • Awards Won 

Alice Walker is the first black American female author who received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her book The Color Purple. She also won the following awards and honors: 

  • National Book Award for Fiction (1983) for The Color Purple
  • O. Henry Award for “Kindred Spirits” (1985)
  • Candace Award
  • Lillian Smith Award from the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Domestic Human Rights Award from Global Exchange (2007)
  • Humanist of the year award from the American Humanist Association in 1997.
  • Early Life 

Alice Walker was born in 1944 in Georgia, USA. While both her parents worked as sharecroppers, her mother also worked as a dressmaker to earn extra cash. Alice Walker is the youngest among her 8 siblings and was the first one to join the school at the age of 4. 

At the age of 8, Walker suffered an eye injury for which she could not receive immediate medical attention. This incident caused her to be completely blind in one eye. After the injury, Walker spent most of her time writing and reading. Once her family had the right resources and money to get her treatment, Alice got eye surgery. Nevertheless, a scar remains to remind her of the horrible incident. 

Walker attended Butler Baker High School, the only high school for black kids. She became a valedictorian and was granted a complete scholarship at Spelman College. In 1965, Walker graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. 

  • Famous Books 

Alice Walker has written and published several poetries, nonfiction books, short stories, and novels. She started her career as an author through poetry and successfully sold several of her poems back in high school. Four years later, her poetry collection got published, increasing her passion to write more content. Her first book was titled The Third Life of Grange Copeland. Her second book, Meridian, was published six years after that. Walker crafts her life experiences in most of her novels. 

Her third and most successful book is The Color Purple, in which she highlighted sensitive issues like sexism and racism. Given the context of that novel, The Color Purple became her bestselling book. The book received such great hype that it got a movie adaptation of the same name. 

  • Interests of Alice Walker 

Like other authors, Alice Walker is interested in social activism. Most of her work talks about social issues like sexism and racism because she had been a victim of them all her life. 

12. Anthony Horowitz 

Anthony John Horowitz is an English screenwriter and novelist, famous for writing mystery and suspense novels. He has also written several scripts for television including, Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. 

  • Awards Won 

Anthony Horowitz has won several awards for his literary contributions, some of which are:

  • The Red House Children’s Book Award.
  • The Children’s Book of the Year Award
  • Bookseller Association/Nielsen Author of the Year Award
  • Early Life 

Horowitz was born into a Jewish family. He was overweight and a grumpy child, but enjoyed spending his time reading books from his father’s library. Horowitz began writing at the age of 9 and knew there and then that he wanted to pursue a career as a professional author. In an interview, Horowitz stated, “I was quite certain, from my earliest memory, that I would be a professional writer and nothing but.”

He graduated in art history and English literature from the University of York in 1977.    

  • Famous Books 

Anthony Horowitz is renowned for writing numerous fiction novels for young adults and children. His masterpieces include: 

  • The Diamond Brothers series 
  • Alex Rider series 
  • The Power of Five 
  • The House of Silk 
  • Sherlock Holmes novels 
  • Moonflower Murders 
  • The Sentence is Death
  • The Unholy Grail
  • Interests of Anthony Horowitz 

Horowitz’s interest in crime is evident in almost all his novels. His love for solving mysteries is what motivated him to write most of his novels. Horowitz regards himself as vaguely conservative when it comes to politics. His services in literature got him appointed as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2022. 

13. George Saunders 

George Saunders is an American writer, popular for children’s books, novellas, short stories, and essays. He has written more short stories than novels and has received different awards for them. 

  • Awards Won 

Saunders won the National Magazine Awards throughout his teaching career at Syracuse University. He also received the Hemingway Award for his short story Civil War Land in Bad Decline. 

  • Early Life 

Saunders acquired a Bachelor’s degree in geophysical engineering. Nonetheless, he pursued a career in writing instead of practicing what he initially studied. According to him, his degree in science has helped him write creative stories. Later on, Saunders got a Master’s degree in creative writing from Syracuse University.  

  • Famous books

  • The 400-Pound CEO
  • Bounty
  • The Barber’s Unhappiness
  • The Red Bow
  • The Falls
  • Interests of George Saunders 

A first, Saunders worked as a geophysical engineer. Then, he considered technical writing in the same subject. Once he got good at writing, he switched to writing fiction stories for children. 

14. Suzanne Collins

Born in 1962, Suzanne Collins is an American author and television writer, best known for her series The Hunger Games

  • Awards Won 

Suzanne Collins has been awarded the following awards for her Hunger Games series: 

  • Hal Clement Award for The Hunger GamesKids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book for The Hunger Games
  • Teen Choice Award for Choice Book for The Hunger Games
  • Goodreads Choice Awards Favorite Book for Mockingjay 
  • Audie Award for Excellence in Design for The Hunger Games
  • California Young Reader Medal: Young Adult for The Hunger Games
  • Cybils Award for Fantasy & Science Fiction – Young Adult for The Hunger Games
  • Early Life 

Suzanne Collins is the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Michael John Collins, an American Air Force officer who served in Vietnam and the Korean wars. Among her four siblings, Suzanne is the youngest and spent the majority of her childhood living in the eastern US. She graduated from the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1980, where she studied Theater Arts. 

  • Famous Books 

Suzanne Collins is famous for writing The Hunger Games series, but that’s not her only work. Some of Collins’ other work that received worldwide recognition include: 

  • The Underland Chronicles. 
  • The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes 
  • The Gregor series
  • Interests of Suzanne Collins 

Besides writing, Suzanne Collins likes to run, read, and participate in gymnastics. She loves nature and spent a lot of time outdoors as a little girl. 

15. Stephanie Meyer 

Stephanie Meyer is another one of the greatest living writers, famous for writing the Twilight series. She is not only a novelist but also a film producer. Over the years, Stephanie has sold over 100 million copies of the Twilight series. 

  • Awards Won

  • The British Book Awards awarded Stephanie the Children’s Book of the Year award for Breaking Dawn
  • Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book for Twilight 
  • Goodreads Choice Awards Best Graphic Novels & Comics for Twilight
  • Early Life 

Stephanie Meyer was born in Connecticut and attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. She completed her degree in English literature from Brigham Young University in 1997.

  • Famous Books 

The Twilight Series, Midnight Sun, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, and The Host are some other popular books written by Stephanie Meyer. 

  • Interests of Stephanie Meyer 

Stephanie Meyer’s hobby is reading books in her free time. She loves reading the work of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. 


Becoming recognized worldwide and having a successful career doesn’t mean everyone’s life was perfect. Every author had their fair share of struggles and trials before they managed to explore their talent. You can do the same! If you wish to become an author, you hire our book writing services at Gnome Book Writing. Our team can help you draft a compelling outline, and produce engaging content for the world to read. Contact us today for further details.