Starting off at the very top is of course, J.K. Rowling who was featured as a "Person of the Year Runner-Up" in the Dec 31, 2007-Jan 7, 2008 issue of Time Magazine. Having been a devoted reader of the entire Harry Potter series, I completely agree with the accolades received by Rowling... and shared her view of the last book (below) as being the best.
Following on the heels of Rowling is Stephenie Meyer. In an Apr 2008 piece titled "Stephenie Meyer: A New J.K. Rowling?" Time profiled the author of the Twilight series. Being curious to see what all the hulabaloo was about, I read Meyer's first book "Twilight" (which became so popular that it became the first in a series) and can attest that it's very entertaining writing and that yep... I'm looking forward to the movie.
Moving on from the teen fantasy genre, Time in Oct 2006 gave a profile of John Grisham which went into detail about his non-fiction book "The Innocent Man". A fascinating read that made me never want to grow up in small-town Oklahoma.
And finally... having gone through the progression of authors I find brilliant (Rowling) to very good with potential for brillance (Meyer & Grisham), there's James Patterson. In March of 2006 Time had "The Man Who Can't Miss" on the gazillion copy selling writer, but having read one of his books... I just don't get it, but with 100 million readers (even better for Patterson, 100 million copy purchasers), he's doing something right.