11 Authors Who Went From the Written Page to the Small Screen (PHOTOS)

Nivea Serrao

Novel Moments

From Game of Thrones to Pretty Little Liars, more books have been making the leap from the written page to the small screen—along with the men and women who wrote the stories, whether as themselves, a version of their real-life personalities or as completely different people. To celebrate National Novel Writing Month, we highlighted some of the best author cameos on TV.

Castle, NATHAN FILLION, JAMES PATTERSON, MICHAEL CONNELLY, STEPHEN J. CANNELL

Michael Desmond/ABC/Getty Images

James Patterson, Stephen J. Cannell, Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly (Castle)

Episodes:
(Patterson) Season 1, Episode 1 | Season 2, Episode 24
(Cannell) Season 1, Episode 1 | Season 2, Episode 1 | Season 2, Episode 24
(Lehane) Season 3, Episode 21
(Connelly) Season 2, Episode 1 | Season 2, Episode 24 | Season 3, Episode 21 | Season 7, Episode 23

Castle often gets meta, with Derrick Storm/Nikki Heat novelist Rick Castle as a famous, best-selling mystery writer who has regular poker games with many of his peers, who also happen to be famous crime novelists off screen. The very real James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly and late Stephen J. Cannell have all graced many scenes, often giving Castle advice. And even more meta? Life imitated art when real Nikki Heat novels by Rick Castle were published….

SONS OF ANARCHY, Stephen King,

Prashant Gupta/FX/Everett Collection

Stephen King (Sons of Anarchy and Under the Dome)

Episodes: Season 3, Episode 3 (Sons of Anarchy) | Season 2, Episode 1 (Under the Dome)

It certainly was a Maine event when Stephen King stopped by Chester Mills as a diner patron for a few cups of coffee in the Season 2 premiere of Under the Dome, based on the novel he wrote. The Master of Horror had also guest-starred on Sons of Anarchy a few years earlier as “Bachman”—a nod to his writing pseudonym—as a “cleaner” who could make bodies disappear. Another fun fact: He also showcased his comedic chops on Frasier as one of the radio doctor’s call-in patients.

Bones - Kathy Reichs

FOX

Kathy Reichs (Bones)

Episode: Season 2, Episode 11

When Reichs got into character as Forensic Anthropology professor Constance Wright, it wasn’t too much of a stretch for the author and real-life anthropologist, whose novels led to the series. And adding to the meta moment, on the show Temperance Brennan is also a best-selling author whose books feature a forensic anthropologist named (what else?) Kathy Reichs.

Z Nation, George RR Martin

Daniel Sawyer Schaefer/Go2 Z Ice/Syfy

George R. R. Martin (Z Nation)

Episode: Season 2, Episode 8

With two more Game of Thrones books to complete, Martin turned down the opportunity to cameo on the show based on his series. However, to prove that not even Death himself can stop the fantasy writer from having fun, Martin played a zombie-fied version of himself signing copies of a fictional sixth book.

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Jules Heath/Starz

Diana Gabaldon (Outlander)

Episode: Season 1, Episode 4

As Iona MacTavish, a wealthy merchant’s wife, Gabaldon (the bonnie lass behind the Outlander novels) got to flex her acting chops while also delivering her line with a spot-on Scottish accent.

Fox

Neil Gaiman (Arthur and The Simpsons)

Episodes: Season 14 , Episode 9 (Arthur) | Season 23, Episode 6 (The Simpsons)

The man behind Coraline and American Gods—the latter being adapted by Starz—showcased two very different sides of his animated self. On the child-friendly Arthur, he offered Sue Ellen valuable writing advice, while his more adult stint on The Simpsons saw him double cross his way to the bestseller list.

Charlaine Harris, True Blood

HBO

Charlaine Harris (True Blood)

Episodes: Season 2 , Episode 12 | Season 7, Episode 10

The woman who magicked the world of Southern vampires and faeries on the page was actually a regular extra on the show, often appearing as a patron of Merlotte’s Bar and Grill. And on the series finale, her character even got a slight promotion as an “Infomercial Sound Mixer” at the control booth during the filming of the “New Blood” commercial.

Pretty Little Liars, SARA SHEPARD

Adam Rose/ABC Family/Getty Images

Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars)

Episodes: Season 2, Episode 12 | Season 7, Episode 10

A’s identity might have been a seasons-long mystery, but fans needed no help identifying the woman (who dramatized the books that the show is based on), when she stopped by as a substitute English teacher for Ezra Fitz.

Gilmore Girls, Norman Mailer

Warner Bros./Getty Images

Norman Mailer (Gilmore Girls)

Episode: Season 5, Episode 6

The American Dream writer played an exaggerated version of himself when he dined at Stars Hollow's Dragonfly Inn. As a high-maintenance customer, Mailer refused to order any of Sookie's food, opting to order iced tea instead. Her increasing annoyance let to a confrontation with Normal Mailer that made her realize something unexpected: she was pregnant!

Dexter - Jeff Lindsay

Showtime

Jeff Lindsay (Dexter)

Episode: Season 3, Episode 10

Dexter Morgan wasn’t the only one playing pretend in the Season 3 episode when Lindsay (who created the serial-killing serial killer in his novels) guest-starred as a Detective on the show, even getting his hands a little dirty helping Angel bag some evidence.

Gossip Girl - Cecily Von Ziegesar

The CW

Cecily Von Ziegesear (Gossip Girl)

Episode: Season 4, Episode 22

It’s no surprise that Constance Billard alum Cecily would have “read a lot” about Serena, considering she’s played by the author who penned the entire Gossip Girl series, Cecily Von Ziegesear. Guess that’s a scoop even Gossip Girl herself missed.

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