BEST LOCAL GIRL WHO WRITES FICTION Phoenix 2007 - Diana Gabaldon
Wait, there's more. She has a master's in marine biology from Scripps, once wrote comic books for Walt Disney Productions, and created a better scientific computation mousetrap between teaching classes at ASU's Center for Environmental Studies.
Then she decided, "Aw, what the hell! I think I'll sit down for a few hours and write a New York Times bestseller." (Okay, not really. She toiled as a freelancer for 15 years before tackling long form, but we still think she's a smarty-pants.)
Gabaldon's first book-length project was named Outlander, a moody tale about an 18th-century Scotsman and his time-traveling wife, Claire. That book blossomed into five more so far. The Outlander Series, as it's known, is the historical fiction/romance version of Harry Potter, and is idol-worshipped in much the same way by the author's loyal legions. Her latest in the series, Outlander, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, was published in 2006 by Bantam Dell. And her latest novel, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade the second entry in her "Lord John Grey" series was published in August by Delacorte Press.
The Flagstaff native lives in Scottsdale with her husband, Douglas. We're hoping he has a robust self-image.