Local Authors

Like most communities, Waukegan has hosted a number of writers who were born, worked, or continue to live here. The library is proud to feature these local authors, whether they have one slim volume or numerous books to their name. Their pages include the author's biographical information and photograph, publications, and sometimes a short essay from the author describing what inspired him or her to become a writer. Additionally, some authors have written about the role the Waukegan Library played in their reading and writing lives.

Please contact a librarian to suggest additional local authors to add to our online list.

A more detailed list of local authors is available at the Waukegan Historical Society's Raymond Library.

David Shiner

David Shiner, local author and professor at Shimer College has one primary love, baseball. See below for a short biography and essay about his development as a writer.
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Diane Ackerman

Diane Ackerman left Waukegan at age 8, so her “memories are veiled,” but this prolific poet, essayist, and naturalist remembered enough to write the following essay about her experiences with the Wauk...
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Ed Link

Ed Link was born in 1942, raised in North Chicago, and educated in its schools. He graduated from SIU-Carbondale with a degree in government and a minor in history. He served in the US Army with a yea...
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Eleanor Taylor Bland

Eleanor Taylor Bland contributed regularly and generously to her community, including the Waukegan Public Library. She served on the Friends of the Library board and freely donated her time over the y...
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James LaRue

 I was raised in Waukegan, Illinois, north of Chicago, along the shore of Lake Michigan. One day, when I was about 6, I was a reluctant player in a neighborhood baseball game. On that muggy Augus...
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Jim Warda

 I became a writer for many reasons. Words. Books. My parents. My wife and children.I love the way words fall and turn across the page like October leaves. And, then, when you turn your back...
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Mel Goldberg

Local writer and retired English teacher Mel Goldberg published his first book of poetry and photography, The Cyclic Path, in 1990. In addition his poetry, stories, and articles have appeared in numer...
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Natalie Rompella

Natalie Rompella is the author of children’s books for all ages. In addition to her trade books, she has written fourteen leveled readers for National Geographic, Scott Foresman, and Reading A-Z. Nata...
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Ray Bradbury

  Library Grows A Lush Imagination: Ray Bradbury and his Green Town Roots Where was Ray Bradbury when the stock market came crashing down in 1929? Others, jobless by the millions, ate i...
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Steven R. Jones

“I sat at my computer a few years ago and attempted to improve my lecture material for an upcoming presentation at the High School. I had been lecturing about the Holocaust for a number of years at th...
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Valerie Connelly

Valerie Connelly lives with her husband, Michael, in northern Illinois not far from the Wisconsin border. She divides her time between writing, teaching, painting landscapes and waterscapes, and ...
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Virginia Mullery

Virginia Mullery has made a significant contribution as a journalist and writer through numerous magazine and newspaper articles, and books about the people in her community. See below for a short bio...
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Ward Just

Ward Just is a local author who has capitalized and then transcended his roots. Read below for his own words about his career and why he writes.
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Andromeda Romano-Lax

I was maybe six or seven years old when I stumbled across one of many Waukegan Library books that would become a passport to my future as a writer and a traveler.A Trip to Quebec by Terry Shannon...
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Dr. Robert Zinn

Local pastor and poet Robert Zinn describes his passion for words below. His book Packet of Poems is a collection of his life-time work.
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