Authors Who Have Moved from Children’s Books to Fiction for Adults

Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, R.L. Stine, Louisa May Alcott, J.K. Rowling — we know them all as celebrated children’s and young adult authors. But there’s another common thread among these writers. They have all written books for adults, too.

Judy Blume’s Adult Fiction

Judy Blume is a classic children’s author, writing all kinds of books for kids of all ages, from “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” to “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.”

You might also find her work outside the kids’ section. Blume has penned several adult novels, including “Wifey,” which addresses adult lives, adultery, and sexuality, and “Summer Sisters,” which features strong sexual content.

In the Unlikely Event,” published in 2015, at which point it was her first adult novel in 16 years, is set around a series of plane crashes in 1950s New Jersey.

If you loved her books as a child, or your children are Blume fans, you can engage with her work on an adult level, too, and enjoy her treatment of more adult themes or perspectives.

Roald Dahl – Fantastical Fiction for All Ages

Roald Dahl is well known for his children’s works like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.” Many of his children’s books are now equally beloved children’s movies.

His knack for the fantastic extends beyond the children’s range, however, into books better suited for adults. Dahl published four collections of adult stories, along with novels for adults including the sex-filled “My Uncle Oswald.”

One story, “The Man from the South,” was featured twice by Alfred Hitchcock. His work for adults has been reprised into modern day collections titled “Deception,” “Madness,” “Cruelty,” and “Lust.”

R.L. Stine’s Terrific Terror

R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” and “Fear Street” books are a hallmark of kids’ spooky stories. Some of them are creepy even to an adult reader, but those who want an adult version of his work can check out his horror novels for adults, “Superstitious” and “Red Rain.”

Louisa May Alcott Beyond Little Women

Little Women” might be a fairly wholesome book for youngsters but Alcott’s writing went beyond that into more thrilling territory for adult readers. Alcott called them “blood and thunder tales.”

Like the gruesome thrillers Jo wrote in “Little Women,” these books are sensational. You can find some of them in the collection “Behind a Mask.”

J.K. Rowling a.k.a. Robert Galbraith

Rowling selected the pen name Robert Galbraith to quietly write a detective novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” It was part of a larger series, “The Cormoran Strike,” which is a far cry from the world of Harry Potter. The first three books of the series have been adapted for television, the fourth is finished, and Rowling/Galbraith has plans for at least six more.

If you are thinking of diving into a new genre or market, these authors prove that it can be done to the pleasure of old fans and new. If there are stories in you that need to be told and you are willing to hone your craft to engage with a fresh audience, there is no stopping you.