Fantastic Authors in Our Own Backyard

Most people assume  that famous authors live in commonly idolized places, like New York City, and neglect to pay attention to the many authors that may live in their own town. Kentucky has produced many authors, some of whom are even best-selling authors.

Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comic book Invincible Image Comics, as well as Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics, lives in Central Kentucky. Kirkman also created the immensely popular comic book series, The Walking Dead, and is now the executive producer of the television show airing on AMC. The plot centers around Rick Grimes, a small town police officer from Cynthia, Kentucky, who has to find his wife and child in a zombie apocalypse.

Another Kentucky native—George Ella Lyon—began writing poetry and songs before publishing her poem, “Where I’m From.” The poem is studied in Dunbar Sophomore English classes as well as other classes that use the Springboard Curriculum. She currently teaches writing through workshops, conferences and author visits.

Alecia Whitaker’s literature has also been used at Dunbar. She visited Dunbar on Nov. 12 to promote her first novel  The Kentucky Queen. (   It is a young adult book about a teen named Ericka who has to navigate through her first year in high school.

Best-selling author Kim Edwards has also made Kentucky her home. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and published Memory Keeper’s Daughter,  ( which is also set in Lexington. This book is about the story of a father giving his child who has down syndrome to a nurse, and then telling his wife that the child died.  This novel was adapted for a television film and broadcast on Lifetime in April 2008. Her second book, The Lake of Dreams, (  is about a girl named Lucy who finds out secrets about her past. It was published in 2010.

Gwenda Bond, who is also a resident of Lexington,  is the author of two published novels with a third set to be released in 2014. Her novel Blackwood  ( is being developed as a TV Series with Grammnet and Lionsgate TV.

The Carnegie Center (  has many programs to support Kentucky authors like the many mentioned above, from writing classes to sponsoring writers’ groups to book talks. These events include book readings and signing by the author, which is a great way to experience new literature and support local authors. The Kentucky Literary Newsletter, created and distributed by the Carnegie Center, has a year long list of events related to promoting and spreading books written by Kentucky authors.  Fortunately for Kentuckians, finding quality in local literature is not difficult.