The library supports local writers in the Stillwater and Payne County area and those connected to OSU. We encourage you to read local and support our writing community. The library has a shelf dedicated to local authors located near the new fiction book shelves, next to the Music CDs and CD Books. Annual lists of published OSU faculty and staff can be found on the Edmon Low Library's "Celebrating Books" page.
If you are a local author, or if you know of another Payne County author not listed on this page, please email email@example.com to submit your information.
(1921-2016) Born in Shawnee, OK in 1921, Ashabranner died in 2016 at age 95. After graduating from OSU with a Masters in English, he taught at OSU for several years. In 1955, he accepted a curriculum development position in Ethiopia, leaving the US with his wife and two young daughters. For the next 30 years, Ashabranner worked in Libya, started the first Peace Corps Program in Nigeria, was the Peace Corps Director in India, and then the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps from 1967-1969. After serving for 10 years in the Philippines and Indonesia with the Ford Foundation, Ashabranner retired in 1985. In his retirement he wrote over 30 books for junior readers on cross-cultural topics and won over 40 awards for this body of work.
Some of this prolific local author’s titles are listed below. Many can be found at the Stillwater Public library and/or Amazon.
- The Choctaw Code (co-authored with Russell Davis)
- Land of Yesterday, Land of Tomorrow : Discovering Chinese Central Asia
- Dark Harvest: Migrant Farmworkers in America
- Still a Nation of Immigrants
- Children of the Maya: A Guatemalan Indian Odyssey
- Always to Remember: The Story of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- I’m in the Zoo, Too
- A Date with Destiny: The Women in Military Service for America Memorial
- Remembering Korea
- No Better Hope: What the Lincoln Memorial Means to America
- The Washington Monument: A Beacon for America
"[The Choctaw Code is] one of the very best books I've ever read for this age group. Through his Choctaw friend, Tom learns many things about the forest, its occupants, and people. He learns some things that will make him a much stronger man as he grows older. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about friendship and honor." - Renee
Matthew Quinn Baldwin taught middle school and junior high English for nine years. He is presently Stillwater Middle School’s library media specialist. Quinn lives in Stillwater with his wife and two children. His books are available on Amazon as both paperbacks and e-books, and several can be checked out from the Local Author’s shelves at SPL.
- The Confessions of Justin Malone, (Alleged) Teen Bank Robber
- The Bible, Unplugged
- The Accidental Superheroes
- Time Jumper
"[Crossover is] An amazing first novel! Quinn Baldwin will be someone to read for years to come. This book was sci-fiction about time-travel, history, family, and divorce. He wrote with words that any teenager might feel as the family comes apart. A successful, acceptable "new normal" is found at the end of the book for this loving family. It had the feel of a "boy book" even though the main character was a female. Lots of adventure and great character development, I would recommend this book to any young middle school friend. It was a thrilling, suspenseful story that wouldn't let me put it down." - Dosha
Cynthia was raised in Yale and graduated from Stillwater High School and OSU. As an elementary schoolteacher, she relied on books with visuals to brighten the historical background under discussion. After retiring she worked as a substitute at the Tulsa City-County Library system. The Genealogy Library captured her attention, where history connects the present to the past. Her books are available at the library and on Amazon.
- An Ear to the Past: Fact and Fiction from My Storytelling Ancestry
- Expedition to the Exposition - 1915
"This is a charming book with lots of anecdotal stories of early statehood days in Yale, Oklahoma. Some of the stories made me chuckle; others were full of historical information. Keeping all the names and relationships straight was a challenge, but I enjoyed reading it." Stephenfish
Polly Basore was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma. After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, Polly left Stillwater to pursue big-city dreams that took her to New York, Moscow and Washington, D.C, before settling in Witchita, KS in 1998. She spent 15 years as a journalist, and the following 15 exploring a variety of professions, including nonprofit communications director, grant writer, college adjunct professor, and philanthropist. Her three children’s books and two adult memoirs are written with purposeful vulnerability meant to engender compassion and inspire hope. Polly’s books are available at the Stillwater Public Library and on Amazon. Learn more about Polly on her website.
- What Heaven Left Behind
- Santa’s Stray
- Santa’s Stray in a Piano for Christmas
- Santa’s Stray in All is Bright
- The Secret of Pink
- Apocalyptic Polly: A Pandemic Memoir
“[In What Heaven Left Behind] Polly Basore chronicles how she triumphed over personal loss and despair to use an unexpected inheritance to become a vehicle for helping those who truly need it. She very honestly tells the reader of the pain she felt and mistakes she made on the way. Anyone who has experienced similar losses in their lives can easily relate to her feelings, but few of us use them to do so much good. I believe this very personal memoir will also do many people a lot of good.” - Frank Dudgeon
Donita, who publishes under the name D.S. Baze, graduated from OSU and lived in Stillwater for over 25 years before relocating to Estes Park, CO. Her book is available to be checked out at the Stillwater Public Library, and can also be purchased on Amazon.
“This book has an interesting way of bringing you inside the story. An easy read and a touching story.” - Patricia Ardern
“Benjamin Boo Real Super Hero is an adorable book that toddlers and children will enjoy. The cute pictures and short lines on each page will be great for a toddler's and child's short attention span. The story teaches that the real superhero is the person who shows kindness, who is helpful. These are teachings that everyone should apply in life. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.” - Josephine Calabrese
Longtime physical education teacher Art Bieri has lived in Stillwater since 1959, when he was hired by the district and asked to create its physical education program. Both of Art’s books can be found in the Stillwater Public Library's Special Collections or purchased on Amazon.
- Action Games
- A Squirrel's Dilemma
“In today's world it seems harder to find ways to get children off of the computerized games to connect with them in a fun and entertaining way. [Action Games] is chock-full of vBarious ways for children who can follow directions to connect with each other in a Physical Education class setting. The greatest thing I found in reading this book is many of the games appear to be easy to modify for out of the classroom setting like birthday parties or family reunions for ages 6-50.” - Jewel Sample
Judith and her husband Rod lived in Stillwater until their retirement. Presently they are enjoying retirement in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Kauai, Hawaii. Judith’s book is available at the Stillwater Public Library as well as on Amazon.
“Judy’s amazing story of an abusive, seemingly hopeless childhood, turns to joy and freedom. You will be surprised by the ease and simplicity of her life-changing formula.” - Peter Bradley, Former President, International Bible Society
Mac, a long-time Stillwater resident, wrote his first novel, Right: A Novel of Politics, in Stillwater; thus, Right is heavily based on Stillwater and its surrounding area. Mac has since gone on to write several science fiction/fantasy works. Keep up with him via his website www.partyapocalypse.com.
- Right: a Novel of Politics
- A Loss for Normalcy
- The Devil Lives In Beverly Hills
- Orson Welles of Mars
- If Any of These Stories Goes Over 1000 Words, This Entire Book Will Explode
- The Once and Future Orson Welles
“From aliens to ghosts to kaiju, each story is unique and humorous. [If Any of These Stories…] is perfect for taking on a vacation or keeping around the home or office to read from each day. Thank you, Mac Boyle, for such a fresh and funny anthology!” - J.N. Cameron
Caleb’s passion for ministry is rooted in his own life-changing experience of Christian hospitality. As a drug addict with a history of jail time, his future looked dark—until he encountered a group of believers who met him with acceptance instead of judgment. Caleb holds a B.A. from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Gateway Seminary. He has worked as a college professor and a young adult pastor and currently works as an international recruitment specialist for OSU.
Caleb’s book is available at the SPL and on Amazon.
“From crime to drug dealers to Turkey, to life in Christ—Caleb Camp does an awesome job detailing what the body of Christ can be. As the family of God, we have an exciting call to express the hospitality of God and be the family that millions of lonely people are looking for. I have a sense that this book will become the training manual that churches everywhere will want their small groups to use.” - Jason Peebles
Judith received a BS in Education from Southeastern State University, and a Masters in Administration from the University of Central Arkansas. Living in Stillwater, she raised a family and worked for 35 years in the public school system. After retiring, she wrote under the pseudonym J. Midgley, before passing away in 2015.
"It was my pleasure to hear the author talk about this novel and to read passages from it [Paradise Love]. While I am a man and do not read romances, the passages were colorful, convincing, and would make a follower of the genre want to read on--and then share reflections with a friend or a book club. The author was quite eloquent on the topic of the rewards of writing and it was a delight to catch a glimpse at creativity in action." - Peter C. Rollins
Alton, a former foster child, and a police officer, was the first person in his family to graduate from high school and college. Now the director of youth ministries for the First United Methodist Church of Stillwater, the Oklahoma State University alum has dedicated his life to working with young people. Visit his website altoncarter.net.
Alton’s books are available for purchase on Amazon or to borrow from the Stillwater Public Library.
- The Boy Who Carried Bricks (Winner of the 2016 Oklahoma Book Award)
- Aging Out (Sequel to The Boy Who Carried Bricks)
- The Boy Who Dreamed Big
- The Boy Who Went to the Library
- The Boy Who Survived: A True Story of Hope and Resilience
“Buy this book!! Alton Carter is a phenomenal guy, and you will love him after reading this book. Alton is as genuine in person as he is in his book. Overcoming adversity is something we all face at one time or another, but Alton does this with more courage than anyone I know. Alton will inspire you to make a positive difference in a child's life, just as caring adults have made in his. This is a must read!” - C. Prewitt
Scott was raised in Yale, graduated from Northern Oklahoma College, and is a former NewsPress photographer. He has won numerous state and national awards for his journalistic work, and currently serves on the board of the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of Professional Journalists. He has written two novels for young adults. Learn more at his website mscottcarter.com.
“I absolutely loved this book! The 'Immortal Von B' combines a lot of elements I admittedly have a soft spot for...a spunky main character, rock music, Beethoven, and a sci-fi twist that brings the legendary composer into the modern world. This book has everything that makes the YA genre so fun to read - plenty of action, a main character you care about, and a great story that keeps you turning the pages. My only disappointment was that it ended way too soon. Bring on the sequel!” - Kyle West
Fred Causley has been a journalist, a working cowboy, a drywall professional and a freelance writer. With his wife, Mary, working to help feed the family, he graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1972 with a degree in agricultural journalism. He later obtained a master's degree in creative writing from OSU. In 1976, he began his career with the Department of Agricultural Journalism at Oklahoma State University. He served 25 years as an award winning science writer and editor, retiring in 2001. View his profile via his publisher's site wordandspiritpublishing.com.
E.M. Chaffin lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma with her dog Paisley and daughter Tricki Woo. She enjoys eating mashed potatoes, petting fat animals, and taking vitamins. There was this one time she floated down the Yellow River in a raft made of inflated sheepskin, but that doesn’t have anything to do with her books. Visit her website at emchaffin.com.
“The story is very creative and it is also well researched as there is a lot of historical information presented to bolster the plot as it progresses. The back-and-forth timeline enhances the build-up of heart pounding suspense. And though my tendency is to whizz through such storylines to find out what happens, I read it more slowly than usual. That is because the book is so cleverly written that it was fun to savor the artistry and craftsmanship used by the author to make her story come alive.” - Dana Williamson
(1939-2011) After retiring from a 22-year long career at Oklahoma State University, Carla and her husband Dale founded the Washington Irving Trail Museum located between Ripley and Stillwater. Using photographs from the museum’s collections and from the families of the band members, in 2008 she published the story of America’s first commercially successful western band. Carla passed away in 2011.
Mary Ellen Cooper was born Jan. 12, 1933 to Ralph Harold Townsend and Avis Winchell Townsend in Ponca City, OK. She married Charles M. Cooper on May 24, 1952; they had nine children. Together they operated Cooper's Motorcycles (est 1930), which her daughter Mary Cash now runs. She became a prolific writer of true crime and mystery books who appeared several times on KTUL television and was featured on Court TV Forensic Files. She loved encouraging new writers at regional writers' conferences. She passed away on March 29, 2010.
All of her books can be found on Amazon (search by title) but are available only from third-party sellers; most of Cooper’s books can be borrowed from the library’s Local Author shelves. A few are available for in-library viewing only. Cooper's books are also available locally at Cooper's Locksmith, 228 S Main Street.
- Bold and Brassy
- Uncivil Death
- Uncivil Death in Norfolk (in-library access)
- Deadly Patterns: An Oklahoma Quilt Murder Mystery
- Deadly Redlands: An Oklahoma Quilt Murder Mystery
- Key Deceptions
- Key Confrontations
- Murder at the Locksmith Convention
- Slow Death and Other Oklahoma Murders
- Fatal Trust: The True Story of Arkansas Doctor Rebecca Johnson's Life and Shocking Death
- The Wright Special (in-library access)
- Blood and Pity: A True Story of Deceit and Murder
- Unlikely Assassins: The Shocking True Story of a Couple Savagely Murdered by Their Own Teenage Daughter
- Through the Years: A History of Cooper's Bicycles (in-library access, Genealogy Room)
"It is obvious that the writer knows many things about the Civil War that were never taught in school. This rich knowledge is woven into the fascinating mystery. I found the story compelling and loved all the gems of history. For anyone who loves a mystery with a historical view, 'Uncivil Death' is the book to read.” - Marilyn Meredith
Lisa Courtaway lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma and is married with four children. An entourage of four dogs and two cats follow her everywhere. She has worn many career-hats, from advertising to insurance to education. She loves a good ghost story, and has lived in several homes that spoke to her in mysterious ways. True crime stories, watching a binge-worthy series, reading, and taking care of her family are her favorites. Since she was young, people have often told her she should write a book ... so she did. Vist her website lisacourtaway.com.
“I loved this book and not just because I grew up in Stillwater. Oh yes, I enjoyed the fun references to the old stomping grounds, but the story is the real star here. Creepy (in a good way) and full of suspense I was mesmerized from the beginning. I can’t wait for Lisa’s next contribution to the literary world!” - Maggie Yates
Walt Cross has lived in the area since 1979 and is a Cushing and OSU graduate. Walt writes mostly non-fiction history books about the Old West and the military. He holds degrees in both history and science and is a combat veteran of the 7th U.S. Artillery. Born at Fort Hood, Texas, Walt is the son of a cavalryman as his father served in the 87th Cavalry. Go to this prolific author’s website to see additional titles or to purchase. His books are also available at the library.
"[Custer’s Lost Officer is a] Very readable and historically interesting account of the search for one of Custer's "lost officers" … Great detective work on the part of author Cross to track down both the actual remains and what probably happened to this young lieutenant…Cross provides a great deal of additional information about life in the US Cavalry during this campaign and insightful research on the battle itself. This is a fine read for those interested in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. If you want an ‘inside baseball’ look at an enigmatic participant in the battle and some CSI-style investigative work, it's a great book for you." - R. McNealy
Davis got her education at Oklahoma State University and was a librarian at the Stillwater Public Library before quitting to write her first novel. She lives in Stillwater with her husband, Lenny, and their cat, King. She enjoys reading, writing, and chocolate, and she loves toys. Debora's work is inspired by the masterful writing of Stephen King.
“Debora Davis has taken on a very challenging topic and presentation with this book. Five people are offered a day without consequences. Each of these people represent a literary archetype and make choices that many of the readers would make under the same circumstances...but as always there is a catch. And when the devil comes to collect his due, she does not shy from the results. There is no "Hollywood" style ending here where everyone ends up happily ever after. And kudos to her for having the guts to follow it through to the logical conclusion, even when she could have made herself a loophole. Anything else and I would have left feeling cheated. Debora has taken on quite a challenge. A multiple-viewpoint, intertwined story that many established writers would shy away from. She has met the challenge quite admirably.” - Michael Dean
(1960-2021) As a Mozart historian, K. Lynette Erwin was recognized as an authority on the life and career of Anna Storace, for whom Mozart created the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in 1786. Erwin had extensive experience in musical theater and opera performance and earned a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. She passed away in 2021.
Erwin's books are available on Amazon. One of her books (linked to the catalog below) is available to borrow from the library's local author shelves.
- So Faithful a Heart: The Love Story of Nancy Storace & Wolfgang Mozart
- When Love Won't Die
“What a wonderful historical novel. I couldn't put it down, but of course, I did in order to let some of it be absorbed before I could enter into the story again. The author made me feel as if I were a silent witness to the unfolding of their love...a love that was strong enough for me to be a part of it, not as a stranger but someone who could fully understand their joys and sorrows. I like historical novels for just that reason. It's not just history that I'm reading but history that I'm experiencing. This was a powerful love story about two very real people living in an era made enticing and exciting by the author’s knowledge of it.” - Joyce F. Keller
Allyn Mitchell Evans is a voice in cultural influences from a female perspective. Evans's essays and articles have been published in a variety of online and print publications. A native Mississippian, Evans now resides in Oklahoma with her daughter and husband.
“Allyn Evans has written the companion traveler for women on this path. In her book, 'Grab the Queen Power, Live Your Best Life!,' she reveals inspiring accounts from her own life as she maps out a cultural trail from girlhood to adulthood. Along the way, she unveils reasons that many girls and women have learned to subjugate their personal power to the needs of others. Interviews with other women are interspersed throughout and underscore her stories. Spell binding and highly personal, the stories captivate, as they may easily belong to me or you, or one our sisters or best friends.” - Kathe Gogolewski
Jeffrey M. Fortney is a former U.S. Air Force firefighter and fire service training instructor. He worked for 21 years as a senior technical editor/photographer at Fire Protection Publications in Stillwater, Oklahoma, before retiring in 2023.
K.M. Fortney is a computer specialist with the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University.
These titles are available for purchase on Amazon.
- Crisis on Terra-Prime (with K.M. Fortney)
- Foothold on Terra-Bravo (with K.M. Fortney)
- Crisis on Terra-Bravo (with K.M. Fortney)
- The Arizona State Guard: Bloody Border
- The Arizona State Guard: Target Terror
- The Arizona State Guard: Freedom's Forge
- Camadin Station One: Death Haunts the Stars
- Camadin Station Two: Last Stand
“Being a certified Techno-Geek, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am always interested in stories that emphasize discovery and problem-solving, especially when technology is used to do so, over the pathos and mindless violence which is becoming all too common in SF these days. I grew up reading the "hard" SF by authors like Clarke, Asimov, Sheffield and Forward….the story brings to mind the kind of SF I enjoy; people overcoming obstacles to improve their lives and civilizations.” -Thomas J. Davis
Gronquist, a longtime Stillwater resident, was president of the Stillwater Writers Group for more than five years and for twelve years also put out the Group’s monthly newsletter.
Two of his works are available at the library (linked to the catalog below). Several others are available on Amazon for purchase. Gronquist writes under several different names, so it is best to search for his titles under his last name.
- Time Trap
- Time Trap Two
- Allah's Torch
- Domestic Jihad
- Socialism, Okie Style: Corrupting the Public Trust
B. H. B. Harper, a native of Kansas and a resident of Oklahoma, is a retired college professor. Murder in Morrill is set on the Oklahoma State University campus where she and her husband once taught. In addition to writing, Harper collects Native American art and studies the Kansas-Indian wars from 1865 to 1878. She lives in Stillwater, OK
“[Murder in Morrill is a] good read . . . the characters hold your interest well. This is a new twist on a murder mystery . . . the ending really makes you want to find the next in this series.” - M. Gaynor
Hunt earned her degree in Radio-Television-Film from Oklahoma State University where she worked at a public radio station delivering the daily drive-time news breaks and producing a weekly program called “Oklahoma Opinions.” In 2004 Hunt and her husband moved to Tennessee and Julie became a parenting columnist for Nashville’s largest newspaper, The Tennessean. She continues her parenting advice from her company’s website, smartkids101.com. Today, their programs—Babysitting 101, Safe Kids 101, and Polite Kids 101—have trained more than twenty-five thousand students in important life skills
Hunt’s book is available at the Stillwater Public Library and on Amazon.
“This book is part personal experience, part self-help. The early chapters tell the story of the author's profound losses which isn't an "easy read" for those of us who pretend if we're "good," we won't suffer tragedy. I'm glad I kept reading though because those early chapters laid a solid foundation for the unmistakable, Divine transformation of Julie Hunt's life...I highly recommend this book for anyone who has suffered loss, is going into loss or is stuck in the middle of loss. You will relate to Julie's journey while discovering some practical help for finding God's healing.” - Cindy Furubotten
Melvin was born the seventh of eight siblings on a farm in Oklahoma. After leaving the farm at seventeen he utilized his farming and ranching skills to hire into commercial jobs, paying his own way through two college degrees. James' varied work experiences, gained throughout his career, contributed authenticity to the fictional characters and their situations as cleverly described in his writings. Cherished tales of his relatives' experiences during the dramatic eras of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially from the perspective of the southern Great Plains, keenly contributed to James’ book. Visit James' author site at h-melvin-james.com.
“'Tares Among the Wheat' is very well-written and researched. The novel covers multiple generations as it tells about many adventures and misadventures while developing the main character’s family linage. It describes many hardships endured, relationships tested, loved ones lost, and portrays the cruelty and ruthlessness of American’s beginnings. It also shows there is kindness and unselfishness among the common man and a willingness to share their meager supplies with the unfortunate…The characters are human with human failings and the bad decisions that come with such traits. They are also endearing, showing the gentle side of the tough and determined men and woman who traveled West. The author leaves us wanting more as it concludes at a cliffhanger in the story and hints of hope …I’ve already ordered Volume two.” - Stephen
Tim attended The University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree, graduating cum laude, in commercial design. When not at his drawing board, this talented artist spends his time with his wife and three children in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where Tim coaches his children’s teams in baseball, softball, football, & basketball. He also trains falcons in the sport of falconry. In addition to providing cover art and illustrations for several successful children and young adult series. Visit his website timjessell.com.
Jessell has written two children’s books that he illustrated himself and has illustrated numerous others. Items linked below can be found at the library. Others are available for purchase online.
- Falcon (Located in the library's special collection, available for in-library viewing.)
- The Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abott, illustrated by Jessell
- Dog Diaries series by Kate Kilmo, illustrated by Jessell
- S.T.A.T. series by Amar'e Stoudemire, illustrated by Jessell
- The Hunter by Jan Wahl, illustrations by Jessell
“If they could talk, they might express themselves as this Peregrine does. Great art work! Very life-like, and a wonderful way to introduce your grandchildren, children and family to birds of prey!” - Jonathan A. Coleman
A book brought Shannon Myers Kelly and Courtney Lynn Kelly together—and perhaps led to them becoming relatives. Shannon was looking for an artist to illustrate her future children’s book. In a phone call with her brother, Walter, who was going to college in Boston at the time, he suggested Courtney.
“Courtney was living in Stillwater and practicing her art here, but not actually working in the field,” Shannon said. The two worked for a while on the book that would eventually become My Visit to Grandma Judy’s, but put it on the shelf when, as Courtney said, “life happened.” Part of that life happening included Courtney’s marriage to Walter."
"This delightful book is written for parents and grandparents as much as the children. The story is fast-paced, keeping young readers’ attention without taking too much time to read. Bedtime does not have to be a lengthy overblown storytime any more. This new little adventure is packed with fun and is full of the most wonderful entertaining images seen in a story book in years. The black and white illustrations are just like the books we parents grew up with." - Darren G. Thompson
Nate Lee was born and raised in Oklahoma, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in manufacturing engineering technology from Oklahoma State University. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Wichita, Kansas, where by day he presently works as an aircraft manufacturing engineer, but by night he is an avid player of video games, lover of music, husband and father of four. Visit his author site at authornatelee.wixsite.com/imposter.
“I wanted a good summer read and I found it in Nate Lee's Imposter! I couldn't put it down as I kept wanting to figure out the plot. It kept me interested the entire time. I especially loved the overall message of the book. It has challenged me (in a great way!) to consider how I'm fostering my talents. Overall, loved it! Please write another!” - Alison S
(1949-2016) Sherrill Lewis was a self-taught artist across diverse media. Since her senior year in high school, she has won awards for writing, art dolls, beadwork, crazy quilts, and photography. In 2010, her first technique-oriented book, Splendiferous Bead Motifs! was published. In 2014, Uncultured Pearl, her first novel in the Maggie Storm Blue Mystery Series, ultimately to have four installments, was published. Raised in Maine, Lewis moved to Stillwater in 1997 where she resided on an idyllic, never boring, five acres in Payne County, Oklahoma, with her husband Gene. She passed away in 2016.
“I have read many, many ‘cozy’ books over the years but nothing like [Uncultured Pearl], absolutely brilliant. If you like a gentle cozy mystery with a bit of romance, you will love this book. Once you start reading it you will find it hard to put down. Sherrill Lewis’s beautiful description of the town of Baysinger Cove just swallows you up…The book gently guides you through Maggie Storm’s arrival to the town and on to the mystery or I should ‘whodunnit’. By the end I was full of emotion. All I can say is I cannot wait to read the next book.” - Angie B.
(1924-2016) Vera grew up in Lawton, OK. After taking a creative writing course at Oklahoma State University, she helped own and operate dairy and cattle farms with her husband, Othadell. Long was an active member of the Stillwater community, particularly through her involvement in local poetry and writing groups. She passed away in 2016. Her collection of poetry was published in 2010.
“If you are looking for a superb book of stories and remembrances from a Southern Plains woman, look no further. You must have Vera Long's work on your bookshelf. Her writing is for all ages - perfect to share with your family and descendants. She was born in Texas in the year 1924, midway between World War I and World War II; at age ten, her family moved to Oklahoma. 'Vera Long: The Country Poet' captures experiences, perspectives, and emotions of this remarkable woman and others in America's Southern Plains.”
Guy Lozier, a fantasy and science fiction author from Cushing, Oklahoma, has written several books that combine his interests in technology, time travel, and philosophy. In 2018, Guy adapted The Eternal into a film that he produced and director, made entirely in Oklahoma.
Lozier's work is available on Amazon.
- Diana's Agony: A True Story with Joel Akwere
- Growing Up Mayberry: Just the Facts Volume One "Leverage" with Neil Shelton
- Growing Up Mayberry: Just the Facts Volume Two "Annihilation" with Neil Shelton
- Dragon Destiny (The Great Dragon Series Book 1) with Jimmy Rose
- The Seventh Sense
- The Eternal: Guardian of Light (The Mind Rift Saga Book 1)
- The Morantian (The Mind Rift Saga Book 2)
- Menaza Reborn
- Assassinating Custer
“[The Eternal: Guardian of Light is] an epic masterpiece that catapults the reader through space and time on this memorable journey with Auren, as he takes on Glaxus. His mission is to seek revenge and save the woman he loves, but his story takes many twists and turns where Auren is tested to the limits before he finally meets his fate. A highly imaginative world, delivered with style. I understand this book is currently being developed for the screen, and I will be interested to see what that brings. Bravo!” - Rachel Tetley
Carolyn West Meyer taught music in the Stillwater Public Schools from 1975 to 2004. Besides being an elementary music specialist, Carolyn and her husband Kel wrote and performed educational albums, cassettes, books, and operettas that were published by two national educational companies and distributed nationwide in the 1980s and 1990s. Later, they produced a television show for fifteen years that featured the local Animal Welfare and Humane Society dogs and cats to help them get forever homes quicker. They love to ride road bicycles and travel with their current dog, Beau. Visit Carolyn's author site at carolynwestmeyerbooks.com.
“As a former dog owner I highly recommend this book for all adults to enjoy! Reading this book was like going on an adventure with the funnest family in the world. This book was hard to put down. Kel and Carolyn are adventurous souls, and their stories in this book are incredibly fascinating to experience through reading. They are both stunning story tellers, as she weaves some of his stories throughout the book perfectly throughout her own unfolding tales.” - Melda Crane
Moffitt lives in Stillwater and graduated from OSU. Her books are available at the Stillwater Public Library, and for download at Amazon.
“Ancient Origins is a very easy read that I could not put down. This is not your typical teenage drama. This book about the supernatural including witches, demons and Gods, features an awesomely independent and strong female protagonist. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.” - Jo
Motes holds a Ph.D in Agriculture from Kansas State University. A professor and extension specialist in horticulture at Oklahoma State University, Motes and his wife live in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Anne Nelson was born in Fort Sill, OK and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Stillwater, OK. She attended Yale, and began her journalistic career as a war correspondent in Central America. Beyond her award-winning work as a reporter, she has gone on to write several nonfiction/historical books. She also adapted her play, The Guys, into a feature film released in 2002. She teaches at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Visit her website anne-nelson.com.
Several of Nelson’s titles are available at the Stillwater Public Library (linked to our catalog below) and on Amazon.
- Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris
- The Guys: A Play
- Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler
- Murder Under Two Flags: The U.S., Puerto Rico, and Cerro Maravilla Cover-up
- Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right
“An incredibly rich period of history - now almost unknown - of the internal opposition to Hitler during the Nazi reign. [In Red Orchestra] Anne Nelson takes us inside this labyrinth and makes it all clear, showing how some people from all walks of life and of all political persuasions were willing to risk everything to make this stand. A must read for people who want to know what it was really like in this dark time.” - W.M. Dunn
Sandra Onley, a teacher in the child development lab in the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University, is the author of Halley the Sheepdog. The book includes illustrations instead of photographs, showing Halley’s point of view about her new home and family members. Onley says: “I am an early childhood teacher and I know the importance of reading to every child’s success in life. If a child can read, he can achieve his goals.”
(1933-2017) Pettyjohn attended South Dakota School of Mines from 1952 to 1954and then joined the United States Marine Corps. After Honorable Discharge from the Corps in 1957, he returned to his studies on the G.I. Bill. In 1981 Pettyjohn became Head of the School of Geology at Oklahoma State University. He retired from OSU in 1995, and then wrote two historical fiction books – one novel and one short story collection – based around Marine Corps in the Great War. He passed away in 2017.
“So few know of the ‘Great War,’ the ‘War to end all Wars,’ and the importance the United States played in it. This historical fiction brings the reader into the lives of the men who fought in that terrible war. I truly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.” - Steve
Born and raised in Syracuse New York, Potter moved to Oklahoma when her husband, Dr. Howard Potter, accepted the position of Head of Music at OSU. After the move the couple found that Howard’s mother had Oklahoma roots. Howard’s great grandfather actually lived in Stillwater in a house that pre-dated the music building that Howard works in. Potter says, “My mother-in-law’s diary crystalized things for me in that we all have a history, we all have life stories. We need to remember the moments and save them for our children or for the world!
“I very much liked all the short stories [in Washashore]. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, but overall very moving. I am a short story kind of person so this book was perfect for me. I only have one complaint...I want more stories!” - Torch007
Tim Prasil has lived in Stillwater for about 18 years. He taught for many years in the OSU English Department before taking time off to focus on books and his independent publishing imprint, Brom Bones Books. He both writes novels about a quirky yet brilliant ghost hunter, and edits the Phantom Traditions Library, a series of anthologies that includes work from Poe, Alcott, Doyle, Bierce, and other literary greats. Visit Prasil's website brombonesbooks.com.
Prasil’s books are available at the Stillwater Public Library (linked below to the library catalog) and on Amazon. See selected titles below.
- Help for the Haunted: A Decade of Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries
- Guilt is a Ghost: A Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mystery
- The Hound of the Seven Mounds: A Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mystery
- The Lost Limericks of Edgar Allan Poe
- Entranced by Eyes of Evil: Tales of Mesmerism and Mystery
- Certain Nocturnal Disturbances: Ghost Hunting Before the Victorians
Edited by Prasil:
“Though the dark mystery behind the haunting of Morley Mansion, which occurred in Boston in the early 1900s, is the main thread of [Guilt is a Ghost], the real appeal for me is the pair of detectives on the case. Imagine Holmes and Watson investigating a murder mystery that’s wound up with Dr. Watson’s shameful past. Okay, maybe that’s too hard to imagine. But it works with the ghost-hunting, murder-solving Vera Van Slyke and her assistant, Lucille Parsell! Or should I say -- the woman going by the name of “Lucille Parsell”? (That’s not really a spoiler.) A quirky lead detective, a fun adventure, and a touching tale of a daughter coming to terms with her far-from-perfect mother.” - L.K. Koontz
Eric Reitan, a Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University, specializes in ethics (especially nonviolence theory) and the philosophy of religion. An award-winning writer and scholar, he is the author of dozens of professional articles, several short stories, and three books. Visit his blog thepietythatliesbetween.blogspot.com.
Reitan's books are available on Amazon, and one of his titles (linked below) can be borrowed from SPL.
- Is God a Delusion? A Reply to Religion's Cultured Despisers
- God's Final Victory: A Comparative Philosophical Case for Universalism (with John Kronen)
- The Triumph of Love: Same-Sex Marriage and the Christian Love Ethic
"This book is excellent! Reitan makes a solid case for marriage equality, argued from Christian values. His argument is thorough, he offers moving testimony from LGBT believers, who have suffered from homophobia in the church. But to me, the most important thing is how Reitan shows respect for others of our faith who don't agree on the issue, without compromising compassion for our LGBT neighbors who have suffered great injustice. 'The Triumph of Love' is a must read for anybody who cares about the faith and about our neighbors in need.” - Susan J. Jordan
(1942-2015) Peter C. Rollins taught at Oklahoma State University’s Department of English for 37 years, ultimately earning the status of Regents Professor. During that time, he served as the Assistant Director of the Will Rogers Publication Project, co-edited the scholarly journal Film and History, and made several television documentaries.
One of his edited collections, The Columbia Companion to History on Film, is available at the library, as is one of his Vietnam War documentaries. Additional books and collections can be found on Amazon.
- Hollywood's White House
- The West Wing: The American Presidency as Television Drama
- Hollywood as Historian: American Film in a Cultural Context
- America Reflected: Language, Satire, Film, and the American Mind
- The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past
- Television's Vietnam (DVD)
"Using a sharp historical lens, Peter Rollins examines American cultural history--focusing on myriad characters: Will Rogers, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John James Audubon, and four major wars while explaining how language, satire, and motion pictures mirror the American psyche. Weaving in and out of personal reminiscences and historical interpretations, America Reflected offers especially strong insight into the nation's changing mores during a turbulent period that began with the rudimentary Model-A automobile and ended with high-altitude B-52 bombing attacks. Clearly, this innovative book--written by an experienced author, lecturer, critic, and editor--belongs in every library and research institution.” - Jo-Ann Dorio-Fyne
Jewel Sample holds an MS in Family Relations and Child Development from Oklahoma State University. She and her husband, Chuck, live in Stillwater, and are the grandparents to 13 children (great-grandparents of five).
“'Flying Hugs and Kisses' is a touching book written to help children understand more about SIDS. It offers a wonderfully creative way of coping for family members who are affected by SIDS. Jewel Sample does a very good job of assisting parents (or other family members) in explaining things at a child's level. I would have to imagine that there are many families that have been affected by SIDS sending the "flying hugs and kisses" described in the story to their lost loved ones after reading this book. Well done.” - N. Rehm
Barbara was raised in Yale and graduated from Yale High School. She twice won the American Christian Writers’ Writer of the Year award, as well as serving as a Field Editor for Taste of Home and recipe tester for both America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country.
[on Vittles and Vignettes]: “Awesome recipes, but the main draw are the snippets and stories scattered throughout! This awesome writer takes us through history through mouthwatering comfort foods! Love the book!” - Kathryn Spurgeon
Fred was born in Seminole and raised in Pawnee, Oklahoma. His love of history drove him to write books that make history come alive and at the same time provide the reader with action and excitement.
A prolific Western/historical fiction writer, Staff’s titles are available at SPL and also Amazon. Selected titles:
- Young Bass Reeves: The Life of the First Black Marshal West of the Mississippi
- Bass Reeves, Lawman
- Judge Parker and Bass Reeves
- Cherokee Bill
“The true story of a hero far more interesting and heroic than any movie hero. And, as always, Fred Staff remains true to his training as an historian, while telling a tale of outlaws, cowboys, US Marshals and other familiar old west characters. In this case, the US Marshal is a former slave who just happens the toughest and most honest man of his times. [Young Bass Reeves] is a book that will hold your attention, from start to finish.” - Dennis Dorgan
Kirsten Tautfest spent eight years in Chicago, where the seeds for her book series were planted. She presently lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Tautfest holds a BA in Philosophy from DePaul University. She is married with one son and continues writing and assisting her husband in his business.
David Eric Tomlinson was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, educated in California, and now lives in Texas. His first novel Midnight Man listed as a 2017 top crime debut by Austin’s independent bookstore BookPeople and was shortlisted for both the PEN Southwest Book Award and the Texas Institute of Letters Sergio Troncosco Award for Best Work of First Fiction. Tomlinson has contributed to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and teaches craft classes for a variety of writing groups in Texas. He lives in Austin. Check out his website daviderictomlinson.com.
"Tomlinson has nice timing, and a good handle on voice. The Dallas author is an Okie, born and raised, and you can really hear his characters. And the characters are nicely fleshed out, too — real human beings with flaws that never lapse into cartoon two-dimensionality. It's a book about hope, which comes at a good time. After last year's polarizing election, it feels good to see through the eyes of his creations — people who are really interested in understanding one another's lives as opposed to just shouting over them." - The Dallas Morning News
Hannah Tuohy is an award-winning children’s book illustrator from Waukomis, Oklahoma. She graduated with an honors degree in graphic design emphasizing illustration from Oklahoma State University. Since her time at OSU, Hannah has illustrated over 27 books, including the Teddy Tales picture books of local author Susan Schuyler Walker. All of Walker’s books are available at the SPL. Tuohy, who presently lives and works in Tulsa, is an active member of the Oklahoma SCBWI chapter. Visit her website hannahtuohy.com.
Below are some titles Tuohy has illustrated. Many of the books she has illustrated can be found on Amazon.
- Augie the Moose Has a Loose Tooth by Rob Colwell
- Wondering by Christy Sheffield of Great Expectations
- No Sand in the House by Jennifer Crawford
- The Oyster’s Secret by Traci Dunham
- Aaron the Aardvark by David McKinney
Walker has lived in Stillwater since 1979. Though now retired, Walker has worked for the Oklahoma Department of Vocational Education, Fire Protection Publications, and as an instructor in the OSU English Department. She is the author of six picture books, one children’s chapter book, and two adult nonfiction titles. Visit her website writersusanschuylerwalker.com.
Most of Walker's books are available on the Local Author shelves at the library (linked below). You can also find the on Amazon.
- The Snarl the Cob & the Pflug
- Ted & Pad
- Ted & Pad at the Lake
- Ted & Pad on Vacay
- Ted & Pad Trick-or-Treat
- No Turkey for Teddy
- Ted & Pad Celebrate Christmas
- Coast When Ya Kin: 30 Years “Behind Bars”
- Childhood on the Schoharie
“What a pleasure to find a book that reminded me of my childhood, sitting at my Grandmother's feet, listening to wonderful fairy tales. I'm sending copies to our grandchildren, knowing that as they read or listen, perhaps a chapter each night, they'll be transported to a marvelous imaginary world. Enchanting! “ - Pat Bloomer
SK Waller, a musician, songwriter, and author, moved to Stillwater from Southern California in 2000.
“Beautifully written—sensuous, compelling, honest, and thought-provoking. As a guitar god of the 1960s, Gordon Hammond’s story is about fame and fortune and the high price that they exact. Too often we’re tempted to believe that the life of a superstar is one of luxury and ease, but The Beyond the Bridge series is a window into their reality, which is more often than not, a completely different reality than the one that is presented to the public. Waller does an excellent job of drawing the reader into their private, most intimate moments with the sensitivity and knowledge of one who has been on the inside of the fascinating world known as “Rock n’ Roll”. Highly recommended for anyone who loves music or anyone who simply loves a good character-driven story.” - K. Lynette Erwin
Mary Jane has lived in Stillwater over forty years where she has been active in the Payne County Historical Society and in teaching history classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Warde holds a Ph.D in history from Oklahoma State University, and has helped collect over eighty oral histories for the Oklahoma Historical Society
Her books are available at the Stillwater Public library and on Amazon.
- When the Wolf Came: The Civil War & the Indian Nation
- George Washington Grayson & the Creek Nation, 1843-1920
“This book is an excellent reference for anyone interested in the Civil War in I.T. or in Native American history in general. It is comprehensive, and includes the history of the waging of war and the effect of war for both the "Civilized Tribes" and the Plains Indians. I am not literate enough to speak to its accuracy concerning the western tribes, but can attest to the book's accuracy concerning the war in the Cherokee Nation. The book concludes by examining the after effects of the war on shaping U.S. policy toward Native Americans. It is evenhanded in its treatment of both the Federal and Confederate sides of the conflict, and restrained -- beyond illustrating its effects with letters, facts, and oral histories -- in its comments on the clear immorality of post-war U.S. Indian policy.”- Margaret S. Verble