You might think authors are sitting in a cabin in the northeast, secluded and concentrating on their next chapter, but Hendricks County has a large list of published authors right here in the Midwest.
I, for one, like nothing better than curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee on a winter day, and these local writers offer plenty to choose from. There are mysteries, adventures, autobiographies and even children’s books that can entertain the entire family and you might just catch references to famous Indiana landmarks along the way.
Find your favorites in the local library, on Amazon or possibly at the Author’s Patch in Danville and plan one of those lazy afternoons in your favorite reading chair.
1. Linda Sammaritan, Avon
The retired elementary school teacher has recently published her first series by Winged Publications.
World Without Sound: Reaching Into Silence, World Without Sound: Dancing in the Silence and World Without Sound: Speaking Through the Silence were all published in late 2022 and early 2023 and chronicle Sammaritan’s experience living with a younger sister who is deaf.
Though the names in the series are changed, Sammaritan says they are based on significant moments throughout she and her siblings’ lives. She hopes the novels share the history of the deaf community, and the growth she and her brothers experienced.
2. Brad Fischer, Brownsburg
At the age of 46, Fischer is sitting in the doctor’s office and told he has about 12 months left to live but instead of giving up hope, he chose to write a book for his daughters.
In the spirit of the proverbial bucket list, Fischer shares stories of his life and lessons he’s learned along the way, hoping to instill the important things in life to his children.
What he found was, many others could relate to The Sand Bucket List: Lessons for Living Life and Facing Death, then he expected and today, the author can be found at book signings and speaking events across the county and beyond.
3. Ben Lacher, Brownsburg
A local mechanic from Brownsburg boasts a career in the professional racing industry and today, owns his own auto repair shop, Ben’s Garage, but Lacher has a vision that goes beyond fixing cars.
He wants to encourage youth to find a passion for the profession and at the very least, learn more about the ins and outs of car ownership.
Ben’s Garage KIDS: Ben Does an Oil Change is the first in a 12-part series, walking children (and parents too) through the basic needs of vehicle maintenance.
Kids will like the colorful illustrations and easy-to-read text and hidden in the story, they might learn a little something as well.
4. Scott Baker Sweeney, Avon
He’s been writing and publishing novels like Cheat River Three, I Was Never Afraid, The Tears of Mary and The Dog since the early 2000s. The latest of which hit shelves in the fall of 2020.
The Dog, is set in North Salem, IN, features local businesses and familiar locations and keeps readers on their toes with suspense.
You don’t have to be a Hendricks County native to enjoy the story but locals will be entertained with references dropped throughout the book.
5. Elizabeth Perona, Plainfield
The father/daughter team consists of Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky.
Known for their series of mystery novels, including Murder On the Bucket List, Murder Under the Covered Bridge and Murder at the Male Revue, they’re not stopping anytime soon.
Their latest, Murder in the Tattoo Parlor, keeps the fun going with the group of senior citizens solving crimes while accomplishing their bucket list.
Tony is also the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series and the thriller The Final Mayan Prophecy with Paul Skorich.
6. Tammi Huggins, Avon
Huggins is the author of another mystery series entitled, the Ben Time Mysteries.
Book titles include Murder and Misconception, Bridges and Bodies and most recently, Death and Deflection, published in 2022.
In addition, she’s published more than 50 Christian articles for various publications.
It’s not uncommon to find the former teacher at signing and speaking engagements. As a throwback to her former career, she even offers free study guides on her website for book clubs or group projects to enhance the education and entertainment of each novel.
7. Philip Gulley, Danville
The Quaker pastor is an author of 22 books about life in the Quaker community of Harmony, IN. His book series, Porch Talk, is a collection of essays looking at a time when life was slower and shared on the front porch with family and friends.
Most recently, the Danville resident has published a series on hope: A Place Called Hope, A Lesson in Hope and A Gathering in Hope, looking at the fictional life of a pastor who struggles with how to balance his belief with what society deems acceptable to an endangered Indiana bat infestation in the church’s meetinghouse.
You can catch Gulley's most recent writing in Indianapolis Monthly Magazine.