John DeSimone

Historical Fiction

Memoirist, editor and author of The Road to Delano, a historical novel set during the Delano grape strike in the late 1960s.

John DeSimone is a novelist, memoirist and editor. He’s co-authored bestselling memoirs, including The Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan, and others. He taught writing as an adjunct professor at Biola University, and has worked as a freelance editor and writer for nearly twenty years. His novel, The Road to Delano (our review here), is a coming-of-age novel set during the Delano grape strike led by Cesar Chavez. BookSirens said, “It’s more than a little Steinbeck, in a good way. …” He lives in Claremont, CA.

Learn more about DeSimone on his website and read our interview with the author here.


Leonardo’s Chair (2005)

The Road to Delano (2020)

Your biggest literary influences:

John Steinbeck, Ken Follett, Howard Fast, John Jakes, Upton Sinclair, Herman Wouk, among others. 

The book that changed your life: 

To Kill a Mockingbird. I think it affected me in such a way emotionally that I became convinced that a story could have a profound effect on me as a reader, so that’s what I decided to do with my life, write strong, emotionally driven stories about the moral choices we have to make. 

Currently working on:

The sequel to The Road to Delano

Advice for aspiring authors:

Read more than you write; write every day, especially when you don’t feel like it. 


Salt Lake Dirt interview

The Road to Delano

“This whole story is an absolute triumph!”
Thehauntedfae Book Blog

“… a fast-paced thriller with a social conscience.”
Online Book Club

The Road to Delano is a compelling story that will leave readers thinking about its surprise ending long after the final confrontation comes to a head.”    ―California Bookwatch

“Five stars. Outstanding writing, fast-paced. A must-read for people who love history AND baseball.”

“I really enjoyed this story. It’s more than a little Steinbeck, in a very good way. …”  —Leigh Anne, Book Sirens