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About David Gorman,
Author & Speaker

I'm David, and I write chapter books for kids 8-12. I published my first book, The Long-Lost Locket, in 2016, and I haven't looked back since. 

My Waldameer Mystery Files book series is about kids solving mysteries at Waldameer & Water World, my family's amusement park in Erie, Pennsylvania. Waldameer is one of the oldest amusement parks in the country, and it has lots of fun history that I include in the books.

Though I live in Richmond, Virginia now, I make trips back home to Erie to speak at schools and meet Waldameer Mystery Files readers at book signings.

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About the Waldameer Mystery Files series

​"Exciting mysteries with heart"

  • Summary: With the help of their friends, Seth and Julia Ambrose solve mysteries at Waldameer, the local amusement park. From investigating a ghost in the Whacky Shack to completing a gamemaster's secret mission in Water World, the kid detectives are always up to the challenge.


  • Reading level: 8-12 years old (3rd Grade and Up)


  • Themes: Friendship, Teamwork, Integrity, Empathy, Overcoming Fears, Perseverance


  • Characters: Each book includes diverse characters of different races and ethnicities, including immigrant and refugees characters.


  • History: While the stories are fictional, each book includes real history about Waldameer, one of the country's oldest amusement parks.


  • Extras: Discussion Guide for teachers, found in the back of each book

  • Similar to: Boxcar Children, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, A to Z Mysteries

Author David Gorman smiling with two children at a book signing at Pressed Books.
Author David Gorman smiling with a class of 2nd graders at St. Jude School.
Author David Gorman smiling with a boy at a book signing at Waldameer.

McKenna, age 9

"I felt like I was in the story and that the characters were my friends."

Parker, age 10

"It's a fun adventure with real places and action! There are exciting stories and awesome details about the amusement park. Five stars!"

Jayden, age 10

"I liked the book because every time I finish a chapter, I want to read on."

How I Became an Author

Before I was an author, I was a regular kid whose family happened to own an amusement park. Waldameer is definitely an uncommon family business, but it felt normal to me!​

I worked at Waldameer from 12 years old through college. I put wristbands on guests, served food at catered picnics, answered phones, and collected and counted money in the office. Waldameer was my second home in the summer, much like Seth and Julia, the two main characters in my series.

Growing up, I always loved reading, but in high school, I discovered writing (thanks, Mr. Lane!). Once I got to college, I studied Creative Writing. After college, I taught English in Vietnam for a year. Living in Vietnam was an amazing cultural experience. I returned home with a global perspective, which inspired me to include diverse characters from all over the world in my series.

Wanting me to keep my writing skills sharp, my mom suggested I write a children's books about Waldameer. I wrote The Long-Lost Locket in 2016, and my family loved it. Other people loved it too, so I decided to write more. The Waldameer Mystery Files series was born!

Five books later, my book series is going strong, and I'm getting the hang of this author thing. My favorite part is speaking at schools to inspire students to read and write as well as meeting readers at book signings.

Happy reading,


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