Hometown Authors & Tales

Well, we’ve been practicing safe social distancing in our home now for over a week. I hope everyone out there is safe and healthy. While things have been challenging here and there, really I’m grateful for this modern age that we live in and that I have been privileged enough to have certain amenities at my disposal (I know that there are many in the world who don’t and are truly struggling 💔). Where would we be without the internet right now? This week, I’ve worked from home, taken barre classes via Zoom with more than 100 people from my studio signing in at one time, did a yoga workout from YouTube with my sister who lives on the coast over Google Hangouts and worked from home with little trouble. What a world we live in!

Not being able to explore my city in the way that I like has me thinking about authors who hail from this medium midwestern place I call home and books about KC. So, this week, I thought I’d share some books/authors with you who come from Kansas City!

  1. Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and several very other famous works was born in Kansas City!
  2. Nancy Thayer, author of Island Girls and many many other books full of beachy intrigue, sometimes a little mystery, family drama and sweet romance is from Kansas City. AND she even attended UMKC, my alma mater. I got to interview her once in my previous job working at UMKC. She is super nice and friendly!
  3. Deaths on Pleasant Street by Giles Fowler is full of intrigue and mystery and a series of deaths that occurred in a very prestigious family in town. This book (and the true story it relays) completely took me by surprise! I couldn’t believe something so juicy and terrible and so wild that you would think it could only be fiction actually took place here! I definitely recommend this book.
  4. Tom’s Town: Kansas City and the Pendergast Legend by William M. Reddig is filled with mobster intrigue. Did you know that Kansas City used to be run by the mob? There’s a lot more to my hometown than you might think! Tom Pendergast was a mobster AND the mayor (at one point). During the prohibition era, there wasn’t much prohibition-ing going on around here and the mayor was cool with it. I haven’t read this book, but I LOVE Kansas City’s wild history. Check this out, or google Tom Pendergast 🙂

In addition to the four I’ve highlighted here, there are dozens and dozens of local authors who self-publish (and many who have publishing deals too! Our little city is full of creatives. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway wrote for the Kansas City Star at one point? Anyway, there’s so much to discover in a good book if you have the time and the means. And we all definitely have a lot more time on our hands right now!

What literary inspiration do you have running around your hometown/city? Please share!