Article

Jun 4, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Virginia Brackett has won our poetry contest on the theme of Imagine Your Story with "Six".


Virginia Brackett’s 16 books have been cited by the New York Public Library; the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association; Tristate Books of Note; the American Library Association, Amelia Bloomer Project; and Booklist (Editor’s Choice, Reference Sources, 2008). She has published many articles, stories, and blog entries for readers of all ages and her short story “Mrs. Cross” won in the fall 2018 Johnson County Library creative writing

Aug 6, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Nick Lopez has won our essay contest on the theme of Imagine Your Story with "I am a Coconut".


Nick Lopez is a Marine Corps veteran, who served from 2005-20013, and is currently a coordinator for veteran programs at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Headquarters in Kansas City, MO. He volunteers on the board of the Kansas City Veterans Writing Team, who sponsor and hold biannual writing workshops for veterans and their family members of. Nick has been published in "Veteran's Voices" and "Haiku Journal", and most recently his painting

Sep 10, 2018

Hi. My name is Hebah. I’m a giant nerd. I don’t just read genre fiction shamelessly; I also attend conventions dedicated to them. And yeah, going to a ComicCon isn’t really a big deal anymore, but I go to sci fi cons, which is probably a couple steps further along the grand scale of nerddom. This year, I attended WorldCon, or the World Science Fiction Convention, a science fiction and fantasy convention established in 1939. It is home to the Hugo Awards, the longest-running science fiction award around. Attendees vote on both the Hugos and future locations, so it moves around from year to year

May 11, 2020

All good children's stories are the same: young creature breaks rules, has incredible adventure, then returns home with the knowledge that aforementioned rules are there for a reason.


Of course, the actual message to the careful reader is: break rules as often as you can, because who the hell doesn't want to have an adventure?


― Brian K. Vaughan, Saga, Vol. 3


The largest population of orphans anywhere in the world is within the pages of children's books. This Barnes & Noble article gives a nice list of some of the most familiar: Little Orphan Annie, Anne (of Green Gables)

Sep 5, 2016

Alan Proctor is a poetry editor for Kansas City Voices and a former humor columnist, tree surgeon, fundraiser, and college administrator. He serves on the board of The Writers Placebased in Kansas City. Proctor will share his work at the September Thomas Zvi Wilson Readings series.


Tuesday, Sept 20
6 p.m.Central Resource Library


In anticipation of the reading, Proctor shares some thoughts about writing:


Tell us about yourself. How did you get started writing?


I wrote my first poem when I was eight years old. It was a sing-song and plodding piece to convince my mother to

Meet the Author: Amy Engel

By Amy Engel
5
Rated by Helen H.
Apr 12, 2017

Amy Engel was born in Kansas. Over the next couple of decades, she boomeranged around the world – to Iran and back to Kansas City, to Taiwan and back to Kansas City, from the University of Kansas to Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and finally back to Kansas City. Phew! With a law degree in hand, she worked for ten years as a criminal defense attorney.


After marrying a fellow attorney and having children, she decided to be a stay-at-home mother and writer. The writing took a little longer to become a reality than the mothering. One day, a flash of inspiration hit, and she wrote her

Meet the Author: Angela Cervantes

By Angela Cervantes
5
Rated by Helen H.
May 3, 2016

As we anticipate the chance to read Allie, First at Last, the just-released second middle-grade novel from Shawnee resident Angela Cervantes, we're reminded that Gaby, Lost and Found, her debut effort a couple of years ago, was much lauded and won multiple awards. To help pass the time until our hold on her new book comes available, we asked the native Kansan (and KU graduate) a few questions.


What do you want those unfamiliar with you and your work to know first and foremost?


For me, it’s an honor to write books for children. I love that I’ve written books that can affect a young

Meet the Author: Ann Ingalls

By Ann Ingalls
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jun 5, 2017

Ann Ingalls first started making appearances at Johnson County Library in 2009 with the release of her picture book The Little Piano Girl, a biography about the childhood of jazz prodigy Mary Lou Williams. She has another round of appearances coming soon in conjunction with her latest title. Read on to learn more about the book and the author.


This July you are spending a day traveling to some Johnson County Library locations to share your new book, Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy. Can you tell us a little about the contents and creation of the book, as well as what attendees

Meet the Author: Arlin Buyert

By Arlin Buyert
5
Rated by Helen H.
Aug 31, 2016

Arlin Buyert is a local poet who was born and raised on an Iowa farm near Sioux Center where he graduated from high school. Arlin was formally educated at Macalester College and The University of Minnesota and worked as an admissions officer at Macalester before entering the Navy in 1966. Arlin was a Naval aviator, corporate executive, cattle rancher and is now retired and lives in Leawood, Kansas with his wife Kristen Kvam. Arlin has facilitated the poetry program at Lansing Prison for the past four years. (Editors note: We posted an interview with Buyert earlier this year regarding Arts in

Meet the Author: Brian J. Daldorph

By Brian J. Daldorph
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jun 8, 2016

Brian Daldorph teaches creative writing, literature, and writing classes in the English department at The University of Kansas and poetry at the Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, KS. He has also taught in Japan, Senegal, and England. He has published several poetry collections and is founder and editor of Coal City Review. His poems, stories, articles, and reviews have been widely published. He scores very well on Rate My Professors and I suggest not reading the comments unless you want to add taking his poetry course to your bucket list.


Daldorph, with others, will be reading the work of Th

Meet the Author: Bridget Heos

By Bridget Heos
5
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 27, 2015

Local writer Bridget Heos is the author of Mustache BabyMustache Baby Meets His MatchI, Fly, and more than 70 other children's books. Check out our review of the Mustache Baby books, then keep reading to learn all about Bridget and her experience as an author through her responses to our interview questions.


Your writing seems to cover a broad range of topics and styles. How has that come about?


Well, so much of what I write is “work for hire,” meaning the editor gives me a topic, and I write about it. Usually the editor also indicates the style (funny or serious, etc.) Now, I’m

Meet the Author: Celeste Seay

By Celeste Seay
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jul 8, 2015

I don’t know who said “a writer writes” first (most believe it was Billy Crystal in Throw Momma From the Train), but I know who has said it the most - Celeste Seay.


Proving her point, Seay possesses a large body of marvelous work, mostly unshared beyond the privileged few. We’re fortunate to have Seay as a member of the Johnson County Library Creative Writing Group, where she produces amazing stories in response to assignments from The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley.


Seay shares some thoughts on writing, as well as her response to

Meet the Author: Christine Taylor-Butler

By Christine Taylor-Butler
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jan 13, 2016

Kansas Citian Christine Taylor-Butler has written more than 75 books for children. Emerging from her background in engineering, many of them are science books for early readers. Some are for slightly older readers or delve into other topics. Recently she released her first novel for teens, The Lost Tribes, to positive reviews, and she has been named to numerous best-of and award lists for her various titles.


Taylor-Butler has gained valuable insight into writing and publishing from her career, and is happy to share what she has learned in response to our questions.


Your website says that

Meet the Author: Clare Caterer

By Clare Caterer
5
Rated by Chris K.
Jun 11, 2015

We are counting the days until we celebrate the launch of Claire Caterer's book The Wand and the Sea... with Claire Caterer herself!


Thursday, June 25
6 - 7:30 p.m.Lackman Library


Claire was kind enough to give us a sneak peak and I know you will find her as charming as I do!


What are you working on now that The Wand and the Sea is finished?


I’ve got two things going at the moment. I’m outlining the third book in the series, titled (for now) The Spell & the Stone, and I’m also finishing up the manuscript of another, unrelated story for middle-grade readers that I’m very

Meet the Author: CW Cooke

By CW Cooke
5
Rated by Helen H.
Sep 8, 2016

CW Cooke is a comic book writer living in the Kansas City area who has been working in comics since 2007. He has been published by Action LabBig Dog InkViper, Bluewater, Arcana, and Devil’s Due Entertainment with his creator-owned series Solitary. He is a featured writer for Project-Nerd Publishing with two new series, Clock Puncher and Barrens, both scheduled for release in early 2016. He has successfully Kickstarted his series Solitary and helped successfully Kickstart the series Barrens.


Cooke, along with Sean Demory and Scott Novosel, will share their experiences successfully using

Meet the Author: Danyelle Ferguson

By Danyelle Ferguson
5
Rated by Helen H.
Oct 18, 2016

Danyelle Ferguson discovered her love for the written word in elementary school. Her first article was published when she was in 6th grade. Since then, she’s won several awards and has been published world-wide in newspapers, magazines and books. She’s grateful every day to work in her dream jobs – author, editor, and nurturing her readaholic tendencies.


Ferguson will present Let the Words Fall Out: a Study of Music Lyrics for NovelistsVoice: Making Your Manuscript Sing and will sit on a panel discussion on Writing Dialogue with Kristin Huston and Nathan Jackson at our 2016 Writers

Meet the Author: Eve Brackenbury

By Eve Brackenbury
5
Rated by Helen H.
Nov 9, 2016

Everyone knows poetry is a literary form with distinct sounds and rhythms meant to be read aloud. Eve Brackenbury, local poet and bookseller, will help participants who might never have spoken in front of a crowd learn to read poetry out loud. Her passion is evident in our interview and we hope you'll join us in learning how to turn your reading into a performance.


Tuesday, November 15th
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Central Resource Library - Logan Conference Room


Tell us about yourself. How did you get started writing?


Like many writers, I don’t really remember when I started writing. I

Meet the Author: Gregg Luke

By Gregg Luke
5
Rated by Helen H.
Oct 4, 2016

Gregg Luke's work as pharmacist prepares him well for writing medical thrillers. As he researches new drugs, "what if? reigns supreme." 99% of the science in his novels is real and he strives to make it "easy to understand to a lay audience yet have it remain complex enough to fascinate and add credence to plausibility."


Luke will present sessions on suspense writing, prose writing, and offer a 3 Page Critique session at our 2016 Writers Conference.


Introduce yourself. Where do you live and work?


I live in a small town next to Logan, UT in beautiful Cache Valley. I have lived here

Meet the Author: Hannah Jane Weber

By Hannah Jane Weber
5
Rated by Helen H.
Mar 7, 2018

At Johnson County Library, we love local authors. And when that local author is one of our own, we can't help but celebrate! Before transferring to our Leawood Library to work in the Youth Services Department, Hannah Jane Weber was active in our writing programs. We are proud to share that Hannah Jane had been awarded the 2017 Dylan Thomas American Award for the poem "Scenic Rail Tour" which is published in issue 63 of Rosebud. Of Hannah Jane's work, Grand Prize Winner, Judge Molly Peacock says "it is a twenty-first century nature poem" and she chose it "because of the double helix of its form

Meet the Author: Jan Duncan-O'Neal

By Jan Duncan-O-Neal
5
Rated by Helen H.
Mar 9, 2017

Jan Duncan-O’Neal was born and raised in Kansas City, has lived most of her adult years around the Midwest and in southern Colorado. She majored in English and theater in college and received a Master’s Degree in Library Science at the University of Iowa, where she later taught storytelling and children’s literature classes. She has authored 11 professional books (published by Libraries Unlimited) and conducted workshops nationally for teachers and librarians. As a professional storyteller, she encouraged others to pass on their own stories and retell the world’s great folk tales. Upon

Meet the Author: JoAnn Farb

By JoAnn Farb
5
Rated by Helen H.
Sep 21, 2016

JoAnn Farb is the author of Compassionate Souls: Raising the Next Generation to Change the World and Get Off Gluten. JoAnn was a small child when the murder of Kitty Genoveseshocked our nation, causing her to vow that she would never ignore injustice or harms, if her speaking up might prevent them. Years later, as a microbiologist working for big pharma, JoAnn saw first hand, that choices she was making every day were fueling terrible injustice and violence that she'd been taught (like everyone else) to "Not see" and an activist was born. When those who profited from the things that JoAnn was

Meet the Author: Jody Jensen Shaffer

By Jody Jensen Shaffer
5
Rated by Helen H.
Mar 22, 2017

It's not often you visit an author's website and find six forthcoming books featured, but such is currently the case with Liberty, Missouri's Jody Jensen Shaffer. To find out how she's managed to accomplish such a feat, read on . . .


You recently did a children’s program for Johnson County Library called “Write Something Delicious” that compared the writing and baking processes, springboarding from your book The Way the Cookie Crumbled, about the history, science, and math of cookies. Can you tell us a little about the creation of both the book and the program?


Sure! This book came to me

Meet the Author: Joe Vaughan

By Joe Vaughan
5
Rated by Helen H.
Sep 9, 2015

From trapping and trading along the Missouri River to commerce at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, Civil War conflicts and dominance at the stockyards, Kansas City continues to be a major player in our country's history. The Shawnee Indian Missionis one of Kansas City's many historical treasures etched with story and a captivating history of its own.


Local historian and author Joe Vaughan will share the Mission's rich history, describe the life of its controversial founder, Thomas Johnson, and illustrate how he and the Mission influenced the region.


Sunday, October 11

Meet the Author: Jo McDougall

By Jo McDougall
5
Rated by Helen H.
May 18, 2016

Jo McDougall will read her poetry at Johnson County Library on Tuesday June 21st at 6pm. Poetry and Prose is presented by the Writers Place and Johnson County Library.


When did you first start writing poetry? Do you remember what provided your first inspiration?
I think I wrote my first poem when I was 11 or 12. My mother had read stories and poems to me on a regular basis when I was a young child, so I had those images and rhythms in my head. I gave the poem to my dad, and he framed it and put it on his desk. I've been writing ever since.


What inspires you to write poetry now?

Meet the Author: Juliet Kincaid

By Juliet Kincaid
5
Rated by Helen H.
Aug 17, 2016

Juliet Kincaid taught writing for thirty-five years, including twenty-five years at Johnson County Community College. Now that she’s retired from teaching, Juliet devotes much of her time to writing and publishing fiction such as January Jinx and Fatal February, historical mysteries set in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago. Why does Juliet write? you might ask. Simple answer: It makes her happy. She also enjoys teaching others how to write, especially novels.


Kincaid will teach Novel Basics at our 2016 Writers Conference.


Introduce yourself

Meet the Author: Kristin Huston

By Kristin Huston
5
Rated by Helen H.
Aug 11, 2016

Kristin Huston works as a writer, freelance proofreader, and teacher. But it wasn't always this way. It wasn't until after law school that Huston realized there was no way she could ever practice law and went on to grad school, earning a PhD in English and History. She finally gave in to the yearning to write, and now spends her days scribbling quirky stories for adults and teens with elements of the creepy, fantastic, and unexplainable. Girls who take no prisoners, and the boys who love them, rock her world. She lives in Kansas City, although she loves to travel to warmer climates. Her

Meet the Author: Linda Rodriguez

By Linda Rodriguez
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jun 24, 2015

Linda Rodriquez has always wanted to be a writer. As for so many of us, life doesn't always give us what we want. At least not right away. Luckily for mystery and poetry readers, Linda has found her voice and created a successful writing life. You can hear Linda read at the Thomas Zvi Wilson Reading Series, co-sponsored by Johnson County Library and The Writers Place.


Thursday, July 21
6 - 8:30 p.m.Oak Park Library


In anticipation of her reading, we asked Linda to share some thoughts on writing. We hope you'll find her as engaging as we do!


Poetry and mystery seem like an

Meet the Author: Lisa Allen

By Lisa Allen
5
Rated by Helen H.
May 8, 2015

Kansas City is blessed to be called home by many wonderful writers and creators. Thus, it is no surprise that three of our own are included in the collection Listen to Your Mother. In 2010, Ann Imig, through stage performances by writers in her community, gave voice to “the realities of mothers and mothering, of non-moms and caretakers, of sons and daughters … with stories so urgent they press from the hearts of people to the page and then to the LTYM Stage, a small selection which return again to the page.” It is no exaggeration to say the stories are urgent.


But don’t let the title fool

Meet the Author: Lisa Mangum

By Lisa Mangum
5
Rated by Helen H.
Aug 24, 2016

Lisa Mangum has worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. She has worked in the publishing industry since 1997. In 2014 she was named the Managing Editor for Shadow Mountain. As an editor, she has worked with several New York Times best-selling authors, including Ally CondieJames Dashner, and Jason F. Wright. While fiction is her first love, she also has experience working with nonfiction projects

Meet the Author: Mary B. Lucas

By Mary B. Lucas
5
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Sep 14, 2016

When John Bichelmeyer passed away in 2004, his daughter Mary Lucas started writing down the lessons she had learned from her father. Originally intended as a way to share her father’s advice with family and friends, interest was so great that Lucas sought out a publisher. She took some time to tell us a little bit about her journey to “accidental author.”


Tell us a little about Lunchmeat & Life Lessons.


After my father passed away, I was afraid that all his wonderful bits of wisdom would be lost. I began to write a book about him as a gift for my family and myself. All my life, I