March Meeting: Practicing the Law From Both Sides

Writers fill books with lawyers and courtroom scenes, and our speaker in March will help us understand what lawyers do–whether they’re fighting on behalf of the defendant or trying to put the defendant behind bars.

Michael Dailey grew up in rural northwestern Missouri. Inspired by a grandfather who had been a roaming lawyer on horseback in his early days, Daily earned his undergraduate degree in economics and then his law degree from the UMKC School of Law. He started his career as an intern for legal aide for Western Mo. and then became a trial attorney for the court defense unit. While working as a Kansas City, Missouri, prosecutor for twenty-six years, Dailey also took private clients to defend on his own time. Since leaving the prosecutor’s office, he’s had his own full-time practice as a defense attorney.

The 120-year-old house and the 80-acre farm in Platte County where Dailey and his wife now live helped drive his decision to leave the prosecutor’s office. Because Kansas City prosecutors are required to live in the city, Daily could only visit the farm on weekends for several years. But the draw to return to his rural roots led him to become a full-time defender and a “gentleman farmer.” The farm now boasts organically-grown apple, apricot, and peach orchards, big gardens, a long house, and an old tobacco barn that has housed chickens, goats, mules, horses, geese, and tons of equipment at times.  Some of the equipment and vehicles Dailey has gathered over the years have been accepted as payment for defending people who had no other way to pay.

Dailey is a great story teller and has tales about all kinds of criminals and innocents from a long career on both sides of the aisle. He’s been a part of some of the most high-profile cases in Kansas City over the past forty+ years. This will be a fun and fascinating event for writers, readers, crime show watchers, and anyone curious about what life is like for lawyers.

Join us Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m.! This program is free and open to the public. This meeting will be held at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library, 8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Merriam, Kansas.


February Meeting: Reporter Tim Carpenter on Interviewing

Interviews can be an important part of your writing process, whether you’re a journalist working on an investigative piece or a novelist conducting research for a book. But the interview itself can be daunting. How do you build trust with someone who might be reluctant to share his or her story? How do you know if you’re getting good information? And how do you ensure you get the information you need?

From Call Northside 777, 1948

This month’s speaker is Tim Carpenter, Statehouse Bureau Chief and Special Projects Reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. Carpenter has received numerous awards during his three decades carrying a press pass, and is especially well known for his in-depth investigative reporting. Carpenter is also a skilled interviewer. In 2014, after the Topeka Capital-Journal ran Carpenter’s story of Milton Wolf (in which it was revealed that the U.S. Senate candidate was posting x-rays of injuries and fatalities), the Los Angeles Times posted a link to Carpenter’s interview and wrote, “This is how a real journalist goes about his job. It’s the most professional, effective interview of a politician we’ve witnessed in our decades in the business. No histrionics, but brutal in its impact. It should be screened for every journalism class in the country, as well as every newsroom and not a few writers’ rooms in Hollywood.” (Apologies; the interview video does not appear to be available at this time.)

Whether you’re writing a mystery or aspiring to be a journalist, this program is for you! Bring your questions, and bring your friends!

This program is free and open to the public.

Join us Saturday, February 3, at 11 a.m. at the Corinth Branch of the Johnson County Library, 8100 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas, 66208.

December Meeting: Writers and Libraries

Helen and her dog, Max.

Helen Hokanson has worn many hats at Johnson County Library over the past 18 years. She has most recently landed in the Reference department, focusing on Readers Advisory. She loves connecting readers to writers, but her passions lean toward helping writers develop their craft and finding a home for every dog.

Her work projects include planning a yearly writers conference, bringing authors of interest to the KC Metro area, and hosting a monthly writing contest.

Johnson County Library is proud to support writers in our community. Helen Hokanson will talk about current initiatives, like our annual Writers Conference and writing contests; her hopes for future programs, and answer questions. Suggestions are also welcome!

Join us Saturday, December 2, 11 a.m.! This program is free and open to the public. This meeting will be held at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library, 8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Merriam, Kansas.

November Meeting: The History of Your Home and the People Who’ve Lived There

Houses are full of mysteries (and maybe even a ghost or two). Every building and piece of land has a story. Whether you’re researching your own property or searching for places to hide clues in your latest mystery, understanding how to research homes, businesses, and land can be a fascinating hobby and helpful skill.

The Register of Deeds will become your friend.

In this fun and information-filled program, Diana Staresinic-Deane will walk you through how to use deeds, maps (Diana loves maps!), newspapers, photographs, legal documents, and anything else you can find online and on the hard-to-reach shelves of your local archives to build a narrative for your house and the people who called it home.

Although many of the examples will hail from Franklin County, Kansas, researchers will find similar documents available for properties anywhere in Kansas or Missouri.

Diana Staresinic-Deane is a writer, local history junkie, cemetery tourist, guinea pig fanatic, former library assistant, and county museum manager. She is the author of Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder and blogs about Kansas history and Kansas places.  Her own love for house history began when she and her husband discovered their Emporia home had once been owned by Marty and Lorna Anderson of Emporia’s famous Bird/Anderson murders. She is a member of the Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Join us Saturday, November 4, 11 a.m.! This program is free and open to the public. This meeting will be held at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library, 8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Merriam, Kansas.

October Meeting Features Author Sally Goldenbaum

Where do ideas come from?

Sally Goldenbaum, author of the Seaside Knitters Society mystery series, will talk about inspiration and answer questions about writing, publishing, and pretty much anything else we throw her way.  Smart, funny, and always a great speaker, we’re also pleased Sally Goldenbaum is one of our own Border Crimes members. Murder Wears Mittens, the twelfth book in the series, hit the shelves in August.

Join us Saturday, October 7, 11 a.m.! This program is free and open to the public. This meeting will be held at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library, 8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Merriam, Kansas.

August Meeting: Playwriting: Writing for the Stage

Novels are not the only form of storytelling! Earlier this year we discussed turning your novel into a screen play with Nancy Pickard, whose book Scent of Rain and Lightning has recently been made into a movie.
In August, we will learn about playwriting with local playwright Christie Kennard, who has had several scripts produced and staged.

Join us August 5, at 11 a.m. at Johnson County Library’s Central Resource Library, 9875 West 87th Street, Overland Park, Kansas. This meeting is free and open to the public! NOTE: This is a different location from our usual meeting spot at the Antioch Branch.