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A Guide to the Authors of Hudson County

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
Attain Medspa
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Books can take readers to places unseen and untraveled, or they can teach us about places right in our own backyards that we have yet to discover. Hudson County is home to so many authors who each bring a diverse perspective to their novels, children’s books, memoirs, essays, and more to take us all on an adventure without leaving the comfort of our homes. If in search of a great read written by talented and very well-decorated authors, look no further than the amazing authors we’ve listed below — we have rounded up authors of all kinds that live in Hudson County.

local authors hudson county

Allyson Souza 

Allyson Souza

A Hoboken girl in her own right, Ally Souza shares a story on a topic most cannot resist, love. Her novel One Time, Badly was released earlier this year and is already seen in local bookstores here in town as well as at major retailers such as Amazon. By day she is a content creator for one of the most well-known publications in the world, Forbes. For a full review of her novel as well as to purchase, click here. 

Anna Kim

Anna Kim danbi book

Anna Kim has been drawing on inspiration from the city of Hoboken ever since Barnes & Noble was on Washington Street. Fast forward to the summer of 2020 and she released her first book, Danbi Leads the School Parade. When looking at major retailers for stories highlighting young Asian characters or stories of immigrants, she realized there weren’t many. During the 10 years she worked on this book, she was a piano teacher and took many classes to learn about the writing and illustration process. Hoboken Girl actually profiled Kim earlier this year where she shares her story, her inspirations, and what is next up for her writing career. 

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Caroline Leavitt

Caroline Leavitt

Several New York Times bestsellers are living among us in Hudson County and Caroline Leavitt is one of them. While this accomplishment could arguably be her greatest, it certainly is not her only. Leavitt has been named on USA Today’s best-selling author list, made BookPage’s Top 20 book list in 2011, and her work Cruel Beautiful World was added to the Indie Next Pick List. It was also named Best Book of the Year by Blog Critics and The Pulpwood Queens. To learn more about Leavitt and her nearly a dozen published books, follow the link here.  

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Daniel Nayeri

Daniel Nayeri

Sharing a personal experience with the world is never easy, but it is often important. After spending years as a refugee from Iran, Nayeri immigrated to Oklahoma and now lives with his family here in NJ. His books for young people share some insight into this formative experience. His books Everything Sad is Untrue is based on his life experience. Additionally, he appeals to children with this series The Elixir Fixers. Nayeri’s website includes information on his work, publisher, story, and even ways to get in contact with him.

Dawn Raffel

Dawn Raffel

While local author Dawn Raffel can boast accolades for her work from top critics like NPR and the Christopher Awards, perhaps even more impressive accomplishment is being on the team to start O, The Oprah Magazine where she served as an executive article editor for seven years. Her book, The Secret Life of Objects was named to The Wall Street Journal bestsellers and was found on Oprah’s summer reading list in 2012. Her website is filled with her work and accomplishments.

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Erinn Pascal

Erinn Pascal harry potter

While her name is Erinn Pascal, avid readers may know this Jersey City resident better by her pseudonym Cala Spinner. If her name doesn’t ring a bell, the brands that she has written for should. Such brands include Peppa Pig, Harry Potter, and Batman. Even though she has done some high-profile work, her real dream is similar to the average person—to own 1,000 dogs. Spinner can be found on most any book site, but here is a bit more about her from Scholastic.

Elizabeth Barry

There is always room for both personal and professional development. Luckily, this neighbor of ours is helping with both. Elizabeth Barry, also known as “The Kind Communicator,” is an executive business and coach and communication advocate. Her self-published works such as Design Your Mind to be Kind, The Little Book of Love, and Heaven on Eleven are designed to be “therapeutic to the soul.” To purchase a book of Barry’s and to learn about her speaking career as well as other areas of expertise, check out her website.

Holly Metz

holly metz

Hoboken resident Holly Metz has been writing for quite some time now which has allowed her to grow a very impressive resume. She has authored three books including The Untold Life of Peter Lee and Poormaster, over a dozen published essays and articles, and even a full project, with an audio component, fully dedicated to the history of Hoboken. All information on her various works can be found on her website here.

Jake Handler

Jake Handler rock on billy

Many aspiring musical artists draw inspiration from industry icons. The main character Billy does exactly that in local author Jake Handler’s first children’s book Rock on Billy. Both an educator and a pillar in his community, Handler shares a story that is truly for those of all ages. For more information on Handler and to purchase Rock on Billy, check out Page Publishing.

Jason Henry

jason henry

With over a decade and a half under his belt in the children’s book world, Jason Henry can call himself author among many other titles such as award winner and senior designer. His book Up and Away has been said to, “sweep readers off their feet” by Kirkus Review. This publication is the story of two brothers who invented the hot-air balloon. To read more,  hop over to Amazon for more information. 

Jason Pinter

Jason Pinter

Most of Jason Pinter’s fans know him for his series Henry Parker, a set of five adult novels. However, he is also the author of two books for younger audiences. He may live here in Hudson County, but his work is known around the world. His standalone novel The Castle has been published in over a dozen countries. His love for books doesn’t stop at writing, he also started his own independent publishing company Polis Books in 2013. Check out his website for information on his work and where to purchase.

Jeff James

Jeff James

This Hoboken resident is a children’s book illustrator who just published his first book this year, America’s Flag Story. Jeff has over a decade of experience illustrating, producing award-winning packaging, and designing exhibits for retail and museum displays. Shortly after moving to Seattle, he began pursuing assignments for children’s theater posters and set paintings that in 2009 earned him recognition from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. Click here to visit his website.

Jeff Lawenda

Hoboken is sometimes referred to as the sixth borough of New York with creatives in the Mile Square often drawing on inspiration from the big city. In his work Pathways, Jeff Lawenda {Hoboken native} does just that. He shares a story of six diverse individuals living in Manhattan who all happen to have a connection to the historic Madison Square Park. His other work, White Hat Black Hat is set in NYC as well spanning over several decades. Click here to view her work.

Jeffrey Somers

Jeffrey Somers may be a renowned author, but he is also a guitar player and whiskey lover—he even claims he will accept payment in the form of Glenmorangie 10 Year. Somers has written over 30 short stories, several novels, and even a non-fiction piece. This Jersey City resident knows the need of our local bookstores and is always willing to sign a copy of one of his books that can be found in Hoboken’s Little City Bookstore. Perhaps perfect for this time of year, his story Ringing the Changes was named one of the Best American Mysteries back in 2006. View his work on his website

Jennifer Iserloh

Jennifer Iserloh

Slow cooker season is upon us which means it’s a perfect time for this Hoboken girl’s cookbook. Jennifer Iserloh shares over 60 recipes that are both heartwarming and healthy in The Healing Slow Cooker. For those living a vegetarian lifestyle, her book The Superfood Alchemy showcased 100 recipes to try and enjoy. Gather tips and tricks from the “skinny chef” herself as well as purchase her books here.

See More: A List of Books That Take Place in Hudson County

Jennifer Rossano

Jennifer Rossano

Author of books surrounding her expertise of food, Hoboken resident Jennifer Rossano {aka Neurotic Mommy} shares tips and tricks on a healthy lifestyle for all ages. Living Crazy Healthy gives even the most experienced vegan a list of unique recipes while her first book, Holistic Living breaks down how to eat naturally in a super processed world. Check out her website for more information.

Jesse Sima

Jesse Sima snow pony

 A veteran of the children’s book industry, Jesse Sima released her sixth children’s book this past summer. While Sima herself lives in Jersey City, her books take her little readers to places ranging from the beach to the farm. In addition to being a published children’s author, she has illustrated Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies written by Christian Trimmer. Her website not only provides an opportunity to purchase her work but also promises more to come in 2021. 

Jessica Bohrer

 Jessica Bohrer your voice

Being a co-author of a children’s book is just one of the many accomplishments of Jessica Bohrer. She is vice president and editorial counsel in the newsroom at Forbes, serves on the Leadership Council of the Committee to Protect Journalists {CPJ}, and she provides pro bono support to journalists working with the International Senior Lawyers Project. Co-authored with her father, Your Voice is Your Superpower: A Beginners Guide to Freedom of Speech {and the First Amendment} educates children at an early age on the importance of speaking up and encourages them to do so. For more information on Bohrer and to purchase this book, click here.

Jordan and Joelle Hernandez

Jordan Joelle Hernandez twin tales

Yes, they are both “sisters and twins” so naturally their children’s book is about being just that. This Hoboken duo shares a story of what most school-age twins go through for the first time: separation. They take the reader through the ups, downs, nerves, and excitement of what it is like to enter a new school without a best friend in their story. For anyone going through something similar or for those who just want to read a fun story, Twin Tales: Sasha and Sophie go to School can be found here or online at most major retailers.

Kerry Margo

Kerry Margo i will light it up blue

Twins are often a fun subject in children’s books and this Hoboken resident is adding to the list of books found with this theme. Kerry Margo takes the reader through life as a twin living on the autism spectrum in his debut book I Will Light It Up Blue. Margo’s work shares a story of unconditional love as well as awareness for a condition affecting so many. To purchase this book, follow his page here.

Laura Lagano

laura lagano cbd hoboken

Laura Lagano, MS, RDN, CDN, is the author of The CBD Oil Miracle, and Hoboken resident. Laura is an Integrative + Functional Nutritionist and Holistic Cannabis Practitioner with an in-person and online private practice, focusing on brain, gut, immune, and thyroid health. The CBD Oil Miracle guides you through the history and science behind cannabis {aka hemp}. You can purchase your copy at Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and other locations here.

Lisa Marie Latino

Lisa Marie Latino

Not only does this author reside in Hudson County, but she has also appeared on Hudson County’s most famous shows, TLC’s Cake Boss featuring the iconic Carlos Bakery. Lisa Marie Latino is the author of the novel Ten Years Later, the story of a 20-something working as a sports radio producer and is preparing for her 10-year high school reunion. Like her character, she is a boss babe in real life as CEO of her own production company, Long Shot Productions and co-owner of hipnewjersey.com Learn all about her diverse work in media on her personal website here.

Read More: 4 Books to Better Understand the Black Female Experience

Meredith Ochs

Meredith Ochs

Longtime Hoboken resident has taken her award-winning radio skills to the literary world. The Library Journal calls her work Rock and Roll Woman “a must for rock and roll and women’s studies enthusiasts.”Starting with the 1950s, Ochs profiles 50 rock and roll icons from various musical icons with over 100 photos to showcase this history. Purchase her book here.

Nancy Colasurdo

Nancy Colasurdo

This Hudson County native partakes in many forms of writing—she is a blogger, a journalist, and an author. While her career spans over 30 years, a decade of that time was dedicated to chronicling a spiritual and emotional journey that is depicted in her memoir Alive in the Sunshine. Her work is suggested to those who are looking to get a deeper meaning out of everyday life. Check out her extensive list of works here.

Patricia Keeler

Patricia Keeler lizzie lou

Over a dozen books hold the name Patricia Keeler on their covers within the children’s book space. That is because this illustrator and author is remarkably talented. She is a Hoboken resident and has hosted illustration events and readings at local stores such as Word Bookstore in Jersey City. Some of the titles with her name include Lizzie and Lou Seal, Scoop the Ice Cream Truck and Drumbeat on our Feet. Learn more about Keeler and check out all of her work here.

Raakhee Mirchandani

Raakhee Mirchandani superhero book

Many authors pull their inspiration from real-life events, and Raakhee Mirchandani is one of those people. After her own daughter beat cancer at a very young age, Mirchandani wanted to share her little superhero’s story with the world and did so through her first children’s book. Now, she is set to release her second title in early 2021. Beyond writing stories for little ones, Mirchandani’s work can be seen in publications such as Elle, Glamour, New York Post, and The Huffington Post. Follow Mirchandani to stay updated with her work on Instagram and purchase her book here.

Rich Walls

rich walls

While Rich Walls is a Hoboken native, one of his books was inspired by the city that never sleeps. Times Square, A novella showcases the beauty that is New York while his work While his other penned masterpiece, Standby, Chicago, takes the reader through an unlikely love story in The Windy City. Check out more information on these two works of his, as well as his other love stories on Good Reads.

Shari Simpson

shari simpson Sleep Walkers

This Hudson County resident comes with a long list of titles behind her name. Some of which include screenwriter, public speaker, and author—this November, she will add the second installment of her hit series Sleep Walkers. Beyond writing and filmmaking, Simpson is a dog mom to her adorable pug Mila Kunis. To pre-order her upcoming book and to see photos of Mila Kunis the pug, visit her website.

Sona Charaipitra

Young adult books, better known as YA, are often enjoyed by “‘real” adults as well. Sona Charaipitra has published five books in this genre, a subject she has loved for a while. Her work started in the magazine world writing for well-noted publications such as TeenPeople, Teen Vogue, and the since ended Barnes and Noble Teen blog. Her bio shares that her pediatrician parents were rooting for her to become a doctor. Instead, she holds a master’s from NYU and an MFA from The New School. One of her popular YA books, Tiny Pretty Things, has recently hit Netflix under one of its original series. Find out more about her here. 

Veronica Chambers

Veronica Chambers shirley chisholm book

While Veronica Chambers is typically best known for her memoirs and essay collections, she is also the author of multiple children’s books. Often pulling from her own Afro-Latina heritage, Chambers books empowers children to learn of heroes of color in history as well as educate little scholars on civil rights. Some of her children’s books include Shirley Chisholm is a Verb!, Finish the Fight, and Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa. Chambers currently resides in Hoboken with her family. For more information on Chambers and where to find her books, check out her website here.


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