Author Websites: A Virtual Walk With 5 Favorite Authors

Sometimes a book is so good, you wish it didn’t end. It had great characters, a dramatic setting, and a plot that kept you up long past Leno’s monologue.

Check the author’s website to find other books and share the inspiration behind the words that keep us turning pages, either paper or digital.

Here are 5 author websites that deliver all that and more:

Isabel Allende

The prolific and fabled author has a site that is both rich in content and cleverly designed with unexpected visual treats at every turn. Little colorful sketches pop up when you hover over menu selections and a rose is her signature graphic. The site has two versions, one in English and one in Spanish.

This site offers a deep dive into Allende’s life and work. It is worth a minute to look through Allende’s biography and family photos, as well as read the Musings section, which contains essays on life, love, and her approach to writing. A new window opens for the Blog, which is mostly about her press events and foundation charity work. A sideways scrolling Timeline (under the About section) of her writing life was a well done and unique feature I have not seen elsewhere and gives everything we want to know about the author.

The site made me sigh with author envy except for the light gray text in some areas which was a bit hard to read.

Cristina García

The author of The King Of Cuba, as well as a wide selection of other novels and non-fiction works, has a website that showcases not only her books but also the Las Dos Brujas Writing Workshops that she sponsors. The Books page is especially easy to navigate, with her beautiful covers arranged in a grid. Click on a cover and you are taken to a page for that book with icons for easy purchase from amazon.com and other vendors.

The site prominently displays a calendar of appearances, including Las Dos Brujas workshops and there is a link to a separate website for more about the workshops. Interestingly, the site doesn’t have the traditional About page but a C.V. resume page instead. A PDF version of the resume is available for download. In lieu of a blog, there is a Select Interviews section.

C.M. Mayo

Mayo is a prolific novelist, travel writer, translator, and poet who has had a long-standing love affair with Mexico. That spirit shines through on every page of this dense and downright fun website. With quirky retro art sprinkled throughout, the site has a lot to offer, from Mayo’s podcasts documenting the life and times of Marfa, Texas, to news about both her books and those that she has reviewed. Her books, including The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, are all listed on the homepage.

The Free For You page is stuffed full of goodies, from advice to writers to her list of essential books on Mexico. The Blog tab leads to another page chock-full of links to her current and past blogs, including her popular Madam Mayo blog, her blog about reading War and Peace, and much more, all written in a friendly, direct-to-you style.

Silvio Sirias

The author of Meet Me Under the Ceiba, set in his parents’ native Nicaragua, currently lives in Panama but publishes both fiction and non-fiction in the US. His website is a lovely and clean walk through his books and life, that lands his About section as the homepage, immediately inviting you into his world.

The website has links to two different blogs, Tropical Reflections and Tropical Perceptions. The two blogs keep his site consistent by using the graphics and background, but Reflections offers musings on “events close to my heart as well as on my life as a U.S. Latino writer living in Latin America.” The blogs are not updated as often as would be optimal but each post is a substantial essay.

Luis Alberto Urrea

This website takes the prize for Best Use of Color and Graphics. The author of novels including The Hummingbird’s Daughter and nonfiction books such as The Devil’s Highway has a standout website that includes a homepage slider that lets you click rather than zooming images on its own, a list of events, and a wry bio that makes you want to read more.

A unique feature on the site is the Book Club page. If your book club is reading one of his books, you can find discussion topics and an invitation to have him connect virtually with your club! The Blog is not frequently updated although the rest of the website is, notably the book news.

What is your favorite author website? Let us know!

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Thriller and mystery author Carmen Amato’s own website is a work in progress! CLIFF DIVER, the first book in her Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “consistently exciting” and the next book in that series, HAT DANCE, will be released later this summer.

In HAT DANCE, Acapulco detective Emilia Cruz will risk a dance with the devil in a desperate attempt to stop an arsonist and find a missing girl. But when the music stops, the consequences will be deadly.

Check out all Carmen’s books at http://amazon.com/author/carmenamato and connect with her on Twitter @CarmenConnects or http://facebook.com/authorcarmenamato. Her Pinterest boards illustrate her books and can be found at http://pinterest.com/CarmenConnects.

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