In the days of the coronavirus, humankind rediscovered a long-lost commodity – a commodity called time. While many used it for activities like Netflix and phone-scrolling, some people rekindled a love of reading. Whether tangible books or electronic, visual or audio, many folks have made an effort to get back to this classic pastime during this unusual time. Here in Cheyenne, we have a slew of local, published authors that span a variety of genres to delve into in these new-found hours we have at home. We’ve compiled a starter list if you’d like to READ local too!
Unarguably the biggest name in the Cheyenne author world is C.J. Box. With over 25 novels in circulation, he’s got a corner in contemporary Wyoming fiction. His character Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden, dominates the collection. Pickett plays protagonist in 20 novels, including the just-released Long Range (March 2020). Box’s fans also eagerly await the ABC-produced television series The Big Sky, based on his book The Highway. The book follows the life of heroine Cassie Dewell, a private detective in Montana. This would be the perfect time to read the books in anticipation of the show.
Have a sports buff in the house? Sports reporters Robert Gagliardi and Ryan Thorburn co-penned a book on the history of the border war between the University of Wyoming Cowboys and the Colorado State University Rams football teams – dating all the way back to 1899! Their book The Border War: The Bronze Boot Rivalry Between Colorado State and Wyoming takes on an unbiased view, recounting memorable moments and people in the history of the rivalry. Gagliardi spent 20 years covering UW sports for Cheyenne and Laramie publications, so he certainly is no stranger to the topic.
If sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal fiction is more your flavor, Josh Walker might be a good place to start. His Luke Coles series follows the journey of a former soldier who seeks revenge for his love. Along the way, he battles paranormal creatures and delves into a world of mysticism and traditions. Piquing the interest of both teens and adults, Walker’s novels transport the reader out of the confines of their house to a life of danger and adventure.
Like your supernatural tied more closely to real life? Jill Pope is the local ghost history expert in Cheyenne. Her best-selling book, Haunted Cheyenne, weaves evidence of the spirit world with historical moments in our city’s past. Pope also has written a book about the ghosts of F.E. Warren Air Force Base here in Cheyenne, and will be releasing her newest book, Gracious Ghosts later this year.
Younger readers may enjoy the Wyoming classic, My Friend Flicka and its sequels by the late Mary O’Hara. Written in 1941, the books inspired film and television adaptations within just a few years of its publication. Ken, a 10-year-old boy struggling with school, is given a wild-hearted colt to raise over the summer. Naming her Flicka, Ken works hard to nurse her back to health after she is injured. Ken’s growth and maturity shine through in acts of selflessness for his new friend. The heartwarming classic is sure to ring true to animal-lovers.
Looking for some educational reading for your students? Former newspaper reporter Karen Cotton has published several books for children. Vedauwoo: Hidden Faces in Mysterious Places educates the reader on the history, geology, and animal residents of the incredible rock formations to our west. Cotton also wrote a book about some unique first responders, K-9 & Deputy Heroes of the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department. Both of these books would make great educational supplements for local students.
Thought-provoking, vulnerable, hilarious… all words that snatch at describing the work of local poet/comedian/blogger John Roedel. His book Hey God. Hey John.: What Happens When God Writes Back is a compilation of “conversations” with the Almighty, written throughout the course of Roedel’s faith crisis. Insightful for people from all walks, one thing is for sure: Roedel will make you smile… and think.
Some readers desire to sink down into a love story to escape the world around them. If handsome cowboys are your thing, you may want to check out JoAnne Kennedy’s collection of work. Her cowboy harlequins may be more ‘50 Shades of Lipizzaner Stallion,’ but if you’re seeking escape, these wranglers can sweep you off your feet and carry you away.
Whether you desire to battle werewolves, wish to solve mysteries, or just want to ride off into the sunset with a muscular cowboy, Cheyenne authors have your reading needs covered! If you want to level up on your support local game, give Phoenix Books and Music a holler – they are doing curbside pickup during CoVid-19. Call Don at (307) 632-3476 to request these local authors today!