• Meg

Read Local

Updated: Jul 13

As exciting as it can be to get your hands on the next book from a famous author, there is something to be said for finding the hidden gems that are our local authors. In preparation for our upcoming Local Author & Artist Market on July 10th, we’re sharing a list of local (St. Louis area) authors that we have available in the IHLS catalog, as well as those who are going to be at our market as well!



Chris Cannon

Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies.


You can find Chris’ books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit Chris’ website here.



*Kristy Walker*

From Kristy’s website: “I have been avidly reading all of my life and especially love the detective fiction genre. I worked at our local library for over ten years and enjoy being surrounded by books and the characters that read them.


I've written three detective novels. One was released in September 2018, one in April 2019 and the last of the trilogy will be released in the fall of 2019. I am currently working on a family fiction book that will be released in late 2019 or early 2020.


I live with my husband, high school son, and two sweet dogs. My two older children are grown and I am so proud of them. I am also a proud mother-in-law and Nana.”


Kristy will be at our Market on July 10th! Please come by her booth and #readlocal. If you can’t make it to our market day, you can always find her books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit Kristy’s website here.



James Erwin

James W. Erwin is a retired attorney. In 2006, he and his wife Vicki bought Main Street Books, located in the Historic District of St. Charles. While operating the store both became familiar with the fascinating history of this city.


James is a 1968 graduate of Missouri State University. He obtained a Master’s Degree in History in 1972 and a law degree in 1976 from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He practiced law in St. Louis for thirty-eight years, and was an adjunct professor at the Washington University in St. Louis Law School for ten years.


His primary interest is in the Civil War, having published three books with Arcadia/History Press: Guerillas in Civil War Missouri (2012), Guerrilla Hunters in Civil War Missouri (2013) and Homefront in Civil War Missouri (2014). James has served as an officer of the St. Louis Civil War Roundtable. He is a member of the Kirkwood (Missouri) Arts Commission, and an officer of the Unbound Book Festival, held annually in Columbia, Missouri.


You can find James’ books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit James’ website here.



*Stephen Idoux (SPI)*

From his book: “Ever since Stephen was very young, he dreamed of becoming an author someday. However, there was something that always seemed to be holding him back in his daily life. Stephen came to realize that his own comfort zone was preventing him from striving to live the life God wanted him to live - one where his confidence could be found in Him. As God developed Stephen to become more outgoing, Stephen created a YouTube channel - SPI Studios - where he goes by his initials: SPI. In addition to making videos and writing, Stephen attends college in Missouri and is pursuing a degree in Youth Ministry.”


Stephen (SPI) will be at our Market on July 10th! Please come by his booth and #readlocal. If you can’t make it to our market day, you can always find his book on Amazon here. We are currently processing his book to add to the IHLS catalog.



Nicole Evelina

From Nicole’s website: “I’m a USA Today bestselling author from St. Louis who writes under the pen name Nicole Evelina. My specialties are historical fiction, non-fiction (biography and history), and women’s fiction, with some poetry thrown in. My six books have won more than 40 awards, including four Book of the Year designations….


When I’m not writing, you can find me reading, playing with my spoiled twin Burmese cats or in my day job as an internal communications (PR) manager. But that just pays the bills. To my core, I am a writer, and with a little bit of luck, someday soon I’ll be able to call myself a full-time novelist.”


You can find Nicole’s books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit Nicole’s website here.



*Evan Willnow*

Growing up in St. Louis, Evan Willnow’s interest in thriller fiction formed as a young adult after reading a sizable stack of Ian Fleming novels during an otherwise boring week of jury duty. For the past twenty years he has worked in advertising as an award-winning Photoshop artist, but his career has ranged to include bicycle mechanic, computer programmer, roadie, and cartoonist. He was a member of St. Louis Fencers Club until his knee would have no more. His first novel, Mightier than the Sword is an action thriller of the digital age that launched The Henry Bride™ Thrillers.


Evan will be at our Market on July 10th! Please come by his booth and #readlocal. If you can’t make it to our market day, you can always find his books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit Evan’s website here.



B.B. Swann

B.B. Swann is a mother of three young adults, a wife (of another big kid but don’t tell him she said that), and a 20+ year veteran elementary teacher. She has all the age groups covered and draws on their influence when writing her books. Picture books, young adult, new adult, and beyond, they all have one thing in common—life experiences, both the good and the challenging.


Originally from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois (go ahead, look it up, it’s a real place) she now resides in an Illinois suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Go Cards! is her new chant but Bear Down will always rule her heart. She loves to run, binge watch Netflix health documentaries, and talk to her three grown children when they have a minute.


Most nights you can find her reading or writing into the wee hours. She believes in the almighty power of caffeine and battling old age with purple hair and lots of sarcasm.


You can find B.B.’s books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit B.B.’s website here.



*John S. McFarland*

From his Amazon page: “McFarland attempted his first novel, about Hercules, when he was eight. He spent his teen years reading 19th century horror, sci-fi and adventure classics, and discovered Faulkner, James Joyce and Flannery O'Connor in college. Travelled to Europe with a play he co-authored when he was 21, and began to write poetry, short fiction, criticism and humor over the next few years.


Sold his first piece of satire to The National Lampoon, and his very first short story was published in The Twilight Zone Magazine. He was later anthologized with Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft in the anthology A Treasury of American Horror Stories. His first novel, The Black Garden, was published to universal praise in 2010 and his young reader novel about bigfoot, Annette: A Big, Hairy Mom, recently appeared from New Babel Books, and is now available in Croatian and Slovenian.”


John will be at our Market on July 10th! Please come by his booth and #readlocal. If you can’t make it to our market day, you can always find his books on Amazon here.



Kai Leakes

From her Amazon page: “From Iowa, but later relocating to Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO, Author Kai Leakes was an imaginative child, who gained an addiction to books at an early age. Sharing stories with her cousins as a teen, writing books didn't seem like something she would pursue but storytelling became a major part of her DNA, with the goal of sharing tales that entertain and add color to a gray literary world.


Kai Leakes currently resides in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. As a creative, she likes to cook and dabble in photoshop. Her love of romance, fantasy, and all things vampires have reinforced her world-building gifts and led her to craft her popular 'Sin Eaters' Devotion series & companion novella, 'Rebel Guardians', as well as the steamfunk horror adventure 'Oni's Tears.' While being a hopeless romantic she is releasing the upcoming contemporary and passionate series, "Love, Trust & Pleasure: A Brothers of Kemet Series.


Kai's unique passion for romance with a touch of darkness has allowed her to be featured in the HWA award-nominated horror anthology 'Sycorax's Daughters’, and sci-fi anthology 'The City'. So, with fantasy and romance always on her mind, watch out for the darkness and magic that always follows.”


You can find Kai’s books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit Kai’s Amazon page here.



*Allison Funk*

From her website: “Allison Funk is a poet and Professor Emerita at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Her new book of poems is The Visible Woman from Parlor Press (2021). She has published five other books of poems: Wonder Rooms (Parlor Press, 2015); The Tumbling Box (C&R Press, 2009); The Knot Garden (Sheep Meadow Press, 2002); Living at the Epicenter (Northeastern University Press, 1995); and Forms of Conversion (Alice James Books, 1986). She was educated at Ohio Wesleyan and Columbia University.


For her work in poetry, she has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and prizes from the Illinois Arts Council and the Poetry Society of America. Her second book of poems, Living at the Epicenter, won the Samuel French Morse Prize and the Society of Midland Authors Award. Her work has been included in a number of anthologies, including The Best American Poetry and When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women, and many journals, including The Paris Review; Poetry; Shenandoah; Field; The Georgia Review; Iowa Review; Prairie Schooner; The Beloit Poetry Journal; Cincinnati Review; Image, and Poetry Northwest. She has been the recipient of residencies at Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, Hawthornden Castle International Writers Retreat (Scotland) and the Dora Maar House (France). She has given readings of her work at universities and literary festivals in the U.S. and abroad (some of which include Dartmouth College, Tufts University, the University of Delaware, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, George Mason University, the University of Cincinnati, Scotland’s StAnza Poetry Festival and the Cheltenham Literary Festival in England.).”


Allison will be at our Market on July 10th! Please come by her booth and #readlocal. If you can’t make it to our market day, you can always find her books in the IHLS catalog here, and request them online or at the library if you’re interested, or visit Allison’s website here.



There are so many more local authors to our Metro East & St. Louis area, and it was so difficult to narrow down who we featured here. The focus was on those that we could find in our catalog, or those that would be here on Saturday!


We can’t wait to see you at our market and to support all of our local creatives! It is going to be an amazing event and a wonderful day! If you are a local author, and would like to see your works in our libraries, please don’t hesitate to contact us!