We often highlight JoCo’s many artisans on our blog and website; from moonshine makers to local potters to goat soap producers… but Johnston County is also home to some very talented writers.

If you are looking for engaging books of varying genres to add to your reading list, be sure to consider the below list we have prepared of Johnston County authors.

  1. Mark Ivey Jr. is a Selma resident who recently released a fun, coming-of-age fantasy tale called Ivey Charm. Read more about the book, and how to purchase it, here
  2. Oakley Dean & Doris Baldwin are local authors with 25 books to their name; the latest book is called The Errors Of Camelot and tells the thrilling story about the B52 Bomber that crashed with 2 nuclear bombs near the Johnston/Wayne county line back in 1961. 
  3. Tammy Bird is a literature professor by trade and her two novels to date belong in the Suspense/Thriller genre; Sandman is her first novel and her second, The Book of Promises, is a young adult novel.
  4. Cindy Brookshire is a Selma local with a few titles, including A Heart for Selma: 12 Stories of Activate Selma, NC - a collection of 12 personal stories from residents, volunteers, and business owners in Selma who are revitalizing and uplifting the beloved rail community.
  5. Gabrielle Bryant is a Young Adult Christian Fiction author and her debut novel is called Her Prince of Dreams. 
  6. Hope Toler Dougherty is a romance author with multiple books to her name such as Irish Encounter and Rescued Hearts; we've done a blog on her before that you can read here to learn more about her process and the little bits of JoCo you can find in her novels. 
  7. Deborah Dunn writes suspense novels that combine archeology and murder mystery themes; try out both The Coffins (A Roanoke Island Suspense Novel) and The Vessel.
  8. Cindy K. Green has multiple fiction novels available with varying genres and themes; her newest book is The Baby and the Bachelor.   
  9. Jean Heller has a mystery series that centers around a feisty female investigator; three books currently make-up the Deuce Mora Mystery Series.
  10. Lora Kempka has a debut mystery novel set in Johnston County called Deep Water
  11. Margaret Maron is an NC Literary Hall of Fame member, award-winning mystery novelist, and author of more than 30 novels and collections, including the Deborah Knott Series and the Sigrid Harald Series
  12. Lee Mims is the author of the Cleo Cooper SeriesSaving CecilTrusting Viktor and Hiding Gladys - all mystery novels. Her newest novel, Carolina Connection, is based in Smithfield, NC.  
  13. Susan Schild is a romance author of heart-warming, small-town novels featuring heroines over age forty, like her novel Linny’s Sweet Dream List which is part of her Willow Hill Series. We have also featured Susan on our blog before and you can read that post here
  14. Shelby Stephenson is a former NC Poet Laureate (2014-2018), a member of the NC Literary Hall of Fame and author of poetry collections like Our World and Fiddledeedee.
  15. Sherry Storrs is a children’s fiction author, illustrator, and photographer with works called Jelly – It’s Not Just for Toast and The Giraffe, the Sun, and the Apricot
  16. Michelle Sutton writes edgy, inspirational romance and is the author of over two dozen novels including It’s Not About Me.
  17. ​Evelyn Wool draws inspiration for her children’s fiction books, which she writes and illustrates, from being a farmer by trade. Her book Mischievous Misty, for instance, is about a goat.