Local Authors Inspire
Story by Jeanie Erwin
It is easy to imagine every author tucked away in some attic overlooking a wooded glen, crafting their masterpiece. We can almost hear the rhythmic tap, tap, tap of the old Royal typewriter now. While the Royals have been retired, the inspiration has not. Today, Kansas City provides a wealth of exciting literature through some spectacular local authors. Kansas City Homes and Style had the opportunity to talk with two.
The call interrupts Diane Rogers at her full-time job as a legal assistant to which she drives to and from, 100 miles round-trip each workday. As she shares about her passion for writing and local history, you can’t help but become enthralled.
“I write because I want people to know their history. Real history. I want people to become interested and do their own investigation and not just accept whatever version of history that is currently being promoted. Our history is filled with real courage, real victories, real challenges, and real mistakes. We must know and remember these things.”
Rogers, who is actually a Kansas City transplant originally from the Jersey Shore, has lived in the area 20 years but has the deep passion of a native.
“Much of my work encompasses stories about the area and its history,” she explains. Her works include The Old Coots: Tom, The Old Coots: Sam, and Elizabeth’s War Missouri 1863, among several others.
Elizabeth’s War, she shared, is one of particular interest to her because it deals with a long forgotten ordeal caused by General Order No.11.
“Not many people even know about General Order No.11 which forced thousands of women, children and elderly out of their homes and on a trek to relocate in the brutal summer heat. If we do not know these things, we are bound to repeat them. I write to entertain, but I write to educate.”
Another local writer, Heather Manning has not even been alive two decades but has been creating stories even before she could write.
“Even before I knew how to write and spell, I would draw pictures and have my parents write the story I would tell them. Writing is just always something I wanted to do,” the soft-spoken Manning explained.
Her family has always been exceptionally supportive of her desire, and even let her attend a writer’s conference alone at sixteen, a pivotal decision that launched her career.
“At the conference, I pitched my idea to a publisher who accepted it on the spot.” The contract she explained, had to be signed by her parents because she was still under 18.
Her first book, Swept to Sea, a novel about a young woman escaping a volatile relationship travels by sea and falls in love with a captain of a pirate ship, was published when she was only seventeen and was an instant success. It is the first in a trilogy. The second book, Carried Home, was published in 2015 and follows the daring quest of a young lady trying to make her way back to London. The third in the trilogy is set to release sometime in 2017.
Rogers and Manning are just two of many talented Kansas City authors. Find that perfect holiday gift at Hometown READS – a site dedicated to helping readers connect with great books written by local authors. hometownreads.com/city/kansas-city