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Authors speak at Marion library

Staff writer

Nine local authors spoke Saturday at Marion City Library about their published and upcoming books.

Lowell Ensey, author of “Schools and Teachers of Marion County, Kansas 1865-1969,” talked about his history of old schools throughout the county. Some are no longer standing, and some still can be seen from the road passing by.

Elaine Ewert discussed her books “Izzy” and “Estelle Wants to Fly.”

The books are based on dogs Ewert owned. She said she had other dogs that also would make good books.

Her sister-in-law, Kathy Ewert, showed the first book she has published.

“The Joy-Filled Trip,” written in rhyming prose, was inspired by working with young students.

Hillsboro resident Debbie Oelke wrote her book, “Still Standing,” about her experience living with multiple sclerosis.

She was diagnosed in 2017, and is now in a wheelchair. The book, marketed online, covers her experiences from 2017 to 2023.

She plans a series of books and is now working on the second installment.

For that book, she has interviewed seven families of people with different disabilities.

“I hope it’s a very encouraging book,” Oelke said.

Gary Schuler, who lives 3½ miles south of Marion, has long been fascinated with caves.

He showed two books he has produced so far, “The Mystery of Dragon Fang Cave,” and “The Kave Detectives.”

“I’m currently working on my third novel that will tie up the loose ends,” he said.

He and his wife bought a cave south of Harrison, Arkansas, six years ago and sold it a year ago to a man who plans to develop a tourist attraction.

Schuler is working on his third book, to be titled “The Cave Detectives of Diamonds and Dinosaurs,” which he hopes will be out next year.

He told about getting stuck in a passageway of a cave and having to be pulled out.

Marion resident Thane Schwartz brought five books he has self-published.

The first, “The Adventures of Boo Boo and Little Mouse,” is a children’s book.

He also showed his books “The Lord of Lies,” “Soul Soup for Chickens,” “The Perch at Dalton Pond,” and “The Things I Found in my Cedar Chest.”

“The Perch at Dalton Pond” is a memoir of his time with his father, Dick Schwartz, at the end of his life and battling dementia.

Author Julie Sellers, who grew up near Florence and graduated from Marion High School, read audience members portions of her book, “Anne of Sunflower Lane.”

The novel focuses on a girl who went to live with her grandparents after her father was declared to be a neglectful parent. The girl found inspiration in the book, “Anne of Green Gables.”

Sellers was a finalist for the 2023 High Plains Book Award contest.Although Sellers did not take the honors for that award, she was named prose author of the year by Kansas Authors Club.

Sellers also has published “Kindred Verse: Poems Inspired by Anne of Green Gables.”

Debra Stenstrom spoke about her book “It’s OK to be Different.” The book tells the story of a dog that ended up living in a veterinary clinic and was an inspiration.

“She’s no longer with us,” Stenstrom said. “And all of the ones we will write about are no longer with us. But she lived a good life.”

Her second book will be about a Pomeranian. The text is completed, but she is looking for a different publisher for that one.

Cheryl Unruh showed audience members her four books, “Flyover People,” “Waiting on the Sky,” “Walking on Water,” and “Gravedigger’s Daughter.”

“Flyover People” and “Waiting on the Sky” are essays. “Walking on Water” is a book of poetry. “Gravedigger’s Daughter” is a memoir of her father.

She read a chapter from “Gravedigger’s Daughter” about driving from Pawnee Rock, where her father lived, home to Emporia at night.

All her books are about growing up in small Kansas towns, she said.

Those who attended the talk spoke to authors and bought copies of books.

Ensey will present a program at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 detailing his research of teachers who taught in the 130 schools in his book “Schools and Teachers of Marion County, Kansas 1865-1969.”

Last modified Oct. 19, 2023

 

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