I was wondering if anyone could recommend native Spanish-speaking authors to practice from. Also, could you recommend some relatively simple books also?
I highly recommend Laura Gallego. I have read about 15 of her books and I credit them with really helping me improve my Spanish. She writes books for adolescents which makes them great for Spanish learners.
Here is a list of her books from her website: http://www.lauragallego.com/libros/
If you click on any book you can download the first chapter for free (and import it into LingQ). That way, you can see if you think you’ll like the book before purchasing it.
Her masterpiece is the Memorias de Idhún trilogy, which I loved. These were the first books I read in Spanish and they helped me a lot. I still remember highlighting 10-15 words per page when I started the first book and having to make a real effort to read 15-20 pages a day, and by the time I finished the third book six months later I could go several pages without highlighting a single word and was reading 100 pages a day as the trilogy reached its end.
If you’re at a lower level, the two Aventuras por Casualidad books are a good place to start. They are really for younger kids. Omnia would be the next level up, it’s probably aimed at 12-year-olds. Then the others are aimed more at 15-16-year-olds, but can be enjoyed by adults like Harry Potter can. Of the other books, I really liked El Libro de los Portales, Finis Mundi and Donde los árboles cantan. But they are all good. Have a look around at the summaries and first chapters and see what you think suits you.