The Best Authors From Topsail Island You Should Be Reading

The Best Authors From Topsail Island You Should Be Reading | Ward Realty 

: This post was originally published on December 18, 2017.
It has been refreshed with updated links and content. 

Local Authors You'll Want To Read

Topsail Island may be famous for things like great seafood, beautiful beaches, and pristine waters, but there is so much more to our community and this week we will look at some of the amazing local authors. From crime novels, to historical fiction and everything in between, the local community of writers has created beautiful works that are worthy of your time.

If you are here on Topsail Island, you can pick up works by these author and more at several local bookstore, such as Sugar Island Bakery and Quarter Moon Books (or you can order online). So pour yourself a hot cup of chocolate, curl up in your favorite spot and get ready to read the winter cold away and dream of summer on Topsail Island.

Carol Ann RossCarol Ann Ross

Perhaps the most well-known of the local authors is Carol Ann Ross, a local resident with a vivid imagination, creative prose, and beautiful storytelling all centered around Topsail Island. These qualities make Carol Ann Ross the quintessential Topsail Island author.

Having moved to Surf City at the age of two, Carol Ann Ross has seen Topsail Island evolve from a small sparsely populated barrier island to one of the best vacation spots on the east coast while still retaining the coastal small-town charm it is famous for.  

Ms. Ross's best-known work is her Topsail Island Trilogy, which begins with the first book The Days of Hairawn Muhly, a historical/fiction/romance which begins in the 1930's on rural Topsail Island when the pace of life was slower. However, the outbreak of World War II changed everything for many including the main character who has to navigate the turmoil that war brings to all aspects of life, even life far from the front. But, do yourself a favor and don't stop there, all three books are great and you'll love traveling to Topsail Island from wherever you're reading her books. 

Clyde EdgertonClyde Edgerton

When five of your novels have been New York Times Notable Books, it goes without saying that you're a talented writer. North Carolina native Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels all of which are worthy of your time. In the past, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and currently he is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. Several of Mr. Edgerton's books have been made into movies or adapted to the stage. A regular contributor to noted periodicals like the New York Times Magazine, Garden & Gun, and Southern Review it is just overstating the obvious to say this man has a wonderful gift for storytelling. 

If you are going to read just one of Clyde Edgerton's books I would recommend The Night TrainTaking place in North Carolina in 1963 The Night Train is dynamic novel that draws you in from the first paragraph, and with the turn of each page, you'll find yourself becoming immersed in a beautiful story. The two main characters are teenage boys working at a furniture refinishing shop who share a passion for music.  The boys, one black, and one white, are brilliantly developed characters. The complex issues of friendship, race, social caste and the turmoil of the civil rights movement all make this novel not only riveting but timeless. 

Ray McAllister | Ward RealtyRay McAllister

In 2006, author and newspaper reporter Ray McAllister had his first successful book published, entitled Topsail Island: Mayberry By The Sea. After years of reporting as a news reporter/columnist and with the success of his first book, Ray McAllister began a journey resulting in several books including Wrightsville Beach: The Luminous Island, Hatteras Island: Keeper of the Outer Banks, and Ocracoke: Pearl of the Outer Banks .

These books are worth reading and we're of course particularly fond of Topsail Island: Mayberry By The Sea which offers readers a unique view into what life on Topsail Island was like from many different experiences and accounts, from hurricanes, to the secret missile program this book is sure to make you want to come to Topsail Island to learn more about our great community.

Virginia Wright-FriersonVirginia Wright-Frierson | Ward Realty

Up to now, we have focused on authors who write for adult readers. However, over in Wilmington, you'll find the amazing children's book author and illustrator Virginia Wright-Frierson, who has published several acclaimed children's books that any Topsail Island vacationer with kids simply must read. 

But as impressive as her writing is, it's Ms. Wright-Frierson's incredible illustrations that bring each story to life.  

When you are winning awards from the National Science Teacher's Association, Children's Book Council in addition to having three of your books listed on the "Outstanding Nature Books for Young Readers" list by the John Burroughs Association, well you can only assume you are doing something right as an author. An Island Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk on a Barrier Island is a beautiful story of exploration and appreciation of the wonders of an island environment.

Celia Rivenbark | Ward RealtyCelia Rivenbark

With books with titles like You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The MorningBless Your Heart Tramp and You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl, this local author is the one you want to read when you need a laugh or just want to relax on the beach with a fast-paced and entertaining novel. Ms. Celia Rivenbark leaves no doubt that she is a self-proclaimed "smart ass". 

Having spent several years in the press it is no wonder. Ms. Rivenbark has a sharp and often devilish sense of humor. You literally can't help yourself from smiling when you read her books, it is just impossible. Currently residing in Wilmington, this author continues to churn out hilarious and interesting work that is sure to keep you in stitches. 

If I had to recommend one book, and I wouldn't recommend reading just one, I would start with Bless Your Heart Tramp. Any book that was competing against the legendary David Sedaris for the James Thurber Prize for American humor is worth reading. Her first book takes you on a hilarious tour of the South and all of the crazy and wonderful things that make up our unique culture. A master at poking fun at her own native South we're sure you'll not only be laughing out loud but seeing just a bit of yourself in each story. 

Wiley Cash Wiley Cash | Ward Realty

Another Wilmington resident and New York Times best-selling author Wiley Cash has produced some amazing books that are sure to make your Topsail Island vacation all the more enjoyable. Currently, Mr. Cash is a writer in residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. 

If you like the true classic Southern Authors, like Faulkner, and Harper Lee you are going to love Wiley Cash's novels. A great place to start on your literary tour with Mr. Cash is A Land More Kind Than Home, a suspenseful tale of mystery revolving around two brothers in a small North Carolina town. 

It is no wonder the folks at the University of North Carolina-Asheville are trusting future generations of writers with Mr. Cash's talent. Look for great things for years to come from Wiley Cash. 

Christy English | Ward RealtyChristy English

Romance novels are the perfect beach books for those looking for fast-paced stories and exciting content. It is easy to see why they are so popular! 

Christy English is great at writing hit after hit from right here in our local area. With an eye for presenting strong female roles in sensual settings all taking place in various periods of history. With titles like How to Bed A Baron and Much Ado About Jack, some titles may make you blush, but will also carry you away to a world of fantasy and fun that is perfect for the vacation setting. 

With over ten books we are sure you'll never get bored reading the works of Christy English. 

As beautiful a place as Topsail Island is it isn't surprising to us that so many wonderful authors find inspiration here. We hope during your Topsail Island vacation you take some time to enjoy one or several of these books. No matter what genre you enjoy there is a book for you.

If you are looking to start planning the perfect Topsail Island vacation, we are here to help. With tons of great vacation rentals to choose from and with industry-leading customer service...your perfect vacation is just waiting for you on Topsail Island.


The Best Authors From Topsail Island You Should Be Reading | Ward Realty 

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