For this WCW, I'm featuring a rather prolific author who (I think) gets less love because of her preferred genre.
Sarah Dessen is a North Carolina native (although technically born in Illinois, she grew up in NC, so pretty native) who is about to release her 12th novel. Her first book was published when she was only 26 (if that doesn't inspire someone my age, what would??).
Although her books are frequently applauded by librarian based groups (ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults has featured 7 of her books, and School Library Journal's Best Book Award has been given to 2), her books have been widely ignored by award committees and popular culture (Technically How to Deal was based on Someone Like You and That Summer--but really it's barely even similar.) She writes beautiful contemporary novels about teens meeting and falling in love. I think they're typically brushed off as teen romances, but her characters have a lot of depth and the storylines usually involve moving past traumatic life events or even just conquering a part of yourself you don't like. (My review of Keeping the Moon may not be entirely favorable, but Colie definitely grew a lot as a person in it.)
She has a husband, and a daughter, and a dog. And she posts about them a lot on Tumblr (where I follow her). She seems like one of those genuinely nice people, and I really hope I get to meet her one day. Until then, I'll just keep recommending her books to people who are romantics (like me).