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Melville and Overland Park map

Picture of Richard Jennings

Richard W. Jennings


The Great Whale of Kansas book cover

 

Orwell's Luck book cover

 

My Life of Crime book cover

 

Picture of Mystery in Mt. Mole book cover

The Pirates of Turtle Rock book cover

Scribble book cover

Stink City book cover

Ghost Town Cover

Biography  
          

Richard Jennings was born and raised in Tennessee.  After attending Rhodes College, he moved to Kansas City where he co-founded a popular book store, Rainy Day Books, where his books are always in stock.  

Mr. Jennings lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with his wife and family.  “He has five children, four grandchildren, a dog, a cat, and a parrot” (as seen on the cover of his books)

He has written novels, short stories, essays, articles, children’s activity books, has made several professional appearances, is a literary judge, and he continues to publish new works.


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Published Work  
 

Ghost Town, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (Hardcover release under contract for May, 2009).
The Time Machine, serialization in (The Kansas City) Star Magazine, August 19, 2007 - June 2008.
The Pirates of Turtle Rock, serialization in (The Kansas City) Star Magazine, December 2006 - September 2007.) Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (Hardcover release scheduled for May, 2008).
Stink City, Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, (Hardcover release October, 2006). Serialization in (The Kansas City) Star Magazine, (February, 2006 - December 2006.).
Ferret Island, serialized in (The Kansas City) Star Magazine, (February 2005 - January, 2006).  Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (May 2007).
Scribble, Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, (October 2004).
Mystery in Mt. Mole, Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (September 2003).
My Life of Crime, Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (September, 2002).
The Great Whale of Kansas, Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (September, 2001).
Orwell’s Luck, Walter Lorraine Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (September, 2000); excerpted in (The Kansas City) Star Magazine (Cover Story, February 4, 2001).
The Tragic Tale Of The Dog Who Killed Himself, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kansas, (1978, 1979); Bantam Books, New York, (1980); serialized in The Chicago Tribune (June 15, 1980); serialized in (The Kansas City) Star Magazine (May 18, 1986).
Happy Apple and the Mysterious Monster from Outer Space, Rainy Day Books (1976).


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Writing Samples  
 

From The Great Whale of Kansas

A postcard on a bulletin board display had caught my eye, a cartoon of a huge, roaring tornado ripping through a tiny farm, blasting barns and bug-eyed animals to kingdom come.  Across the top of the swirling black cloud were bright yellow letters that spelled out the words JUST PASSING THROUGH KANSAS. […] Like tornadoes, most people don’t stay long in Kansas; they’re just passing though.  As the center of the entire country, Kansas is halfway to everywhere else.  Whether you’re headed east, west, north, or south, Kansas is little more than a place to refuel.  It’s been like this for a long time.  Pioneers, prospectors, Indians following bison herds – all were on the move, with few staying long enough to put down roots.  When you consider that in the middle of Kansas is Melville, why, it’s a miracle my hometown exists!

[...L]ightning ripped across the sky and hail the size of hard-boiled eggs began to clatter down around us, announcing a storm as fierce as any I've seen. With steadily increasing force, the wind whipped over the surface of the hole, sending a branch as big as a mosasaur crashing down from a hedgeapple tree. Crouched over the Cretaceous rock record, my father and I groaned in unison when from high atop a creosote-soaked pole in Higley Park, the tornado siren burst into a familiar and frightening wail. Welcome to Kansas! [...] Then, as suddenly as it had arrived, the storm seemed to go away. A peculiar odor, like that of escaping gas, hung in the air. I coughed, rubbed my eyes, and stood up to see what was going on. Clouds were swirling in circles high over my head, forming a long, dark tunnel leading to the sky. Lightning illuminated its twisting interior, flashing in steady repetition like photographers surrounding a movie star. A screaming noise pressed down on my father's voice. "Get down!" he screamed, tackling me behind the knees. Together, we collapsed back into the safety of my fossil excavation, just as what must have been a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train crossed overhead.

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Link  
 

For more information, here is a link to Richard Jennings' website: http://www.richardwjennings.com

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