I bet you didn't know that my hometown, Spokane, Washington, is a hotbed of literary genius. It's true! The list of awesome authors from Spokane is pretty impressive. What's even more impressive to me is how many of them have written YA novels. The only part that's a little bit sad is that there aren't any lady authors on it. But, until I burst onto the scene, these guys are the most well-known writers from my hood.
Growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, located about an hour from downtown Spokane, served as inspiration for his young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Reading that book was quite an odd experience, since so many of the places mentioned were places I knew. After college, he did the predictable thing and migrated to Seattle, but we Spokanites still claim him as ours.
Besides having an awesome name, Terry Trueman wrote one of the most celebrated books about physical disability--Stuck in Neutral. I read Stuck in Neutral as a teenager and had no idea the author actually lives in my town. Stuck in Neutral won a ton of awards, including a Printz honor. Terry Trueman is currently working on the sequel.
Chris Crutcher is quite well known in the world of YA, and has been writing for teenagers much longer than writing for teenagers was even really a "thing". His books tackle serious subjects in realistic ways. Predictably (sigh), his books have been consistently challenged and banned in schools and libraries for their mature subjects. Some of his best known books are Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Whale Talk, and Ironman.
You might not recognize this name, but he's done something that no other Spokanite has managed--his novel, The Zero, was a finalist for the National Book Award. He's pretty much the king of Spokanite literary fiction. Once during grad school, I read my poetry at a reading and he was the special guest reader. I was basically his warm-up act. Yes, I read my poems right before a National Book Award nominee. No pressure.
While he's technically not from Spokane, he's did grow up in Tri-Cities, a little conglomeration of mini-malls and apple orchards about 100 miles to the south. I saw him speak once in Spokane to an absolutely packed house. He gave out plastic dismembered limbs and heads to people who correctly answered questions about his books. I am totally doing that when I have readings.
Are there any famous authors from your town?