The Historic Waco Foundation held a panel-style presentation Tuesday of local authors within the Waco area to talk about their works. The panel was headlined by authors Eric Ames, Linda Mason Crawford, Brandi Gibson, Cindy Janecka and David Mosley.
Throughout the night, each writer had the opportunity to present their work and talk about their inspiration behind their novels. From self-help, to historical narratives, to faith-filled experiences with humor and thrilling fiction, each author had a unique story that they wanted to portray.
Brandi Gibson, local Waco author and Waco ISD worker, wrote “Dark Side: An Unexplained Casefile.” The story is based in Waco and chronicles the thrilling journey of detective Allen Miar as he sets off to solve unexplainable cases that lead him to the realm of the supernatural. Through all the twist and mystery, Gibson hopes not only to entertain her audience, but to tell a story of courage and determination through her characters.
“I want [the readers] to know, no matter how bad things look in life or in your job, you can pull through,” Gibson said. “You will be able to climb back on top.”
Books from authors such as Jenecka and Crawford offered advice and faith-filled narratives to show that even in the worst of times, faith prevails.
Linda Mason Crawford is a local writer, professor and co-owner of the newspaper Anchor News. Crawford authored the book “God, Destiny, and A Glass of Wine,” a novel about finding everyday miracles and untapped goodness in bad situations. Crawford filled her novel with witty phrases, all while weaving a narrative of hope, faith and hardship for her readers to take in and learn from.
“I want my audience to learn that there are ways they can navigate through life and make it easier and not harder,” Crawford said. “I really want people to realize that we direct our own destiny.”
Cindy Janecka’s books also contain faith-filled narratives. Janecka, a clinical social worker and marriage counselor, wrote “This Can’t Be Happening,” where she shares her story of perseverance and heartbreak as she battles cancer. In her book, Janecka gives insight to how hard it is to deal with cancer, and explains how she was able to experience peace and hope through her faith. Janecka not only wants to give hope to her readers, but she also wants to educate them on how to support their loved ones, or themselves, as they go through such a difficult journey.
Eric Ames, an adjunct lecturer at Baylor, authored two books on Waco’s history. After moving to Waco in 2005, Ames fell in love with the community and culture. After spending some time in the city, he wrote “Hidden History of Waco,” and a later novel titled “Waco: Images of Modern America.” Ames sheds a light on the tales and mystery that Waco holds, and compiles its rich history into a series of stories that he felt would allow outsiders to learn more about the city.
David Mosley, local writer, and retired teacher is a lifelong resident of Waco whose book, titled “Heartbreak Times,” is a compilation of humorous tales and stories taking place in the fictional town of Heartbreak, Texas. The stories come from a series of columns that Mosley has been publishing in “Waco Today,” for over 11 years. The stories are a combination between truth and tall tales. In Mosley’s eyes, humor is an important tool for everyday life.
“At my best, I am a humorist, not a comedian. Comedy is fairly easy, while humor is really difficult,” Mosley said. “Sometimes humor is the strongest protection we have.”
Jill Barrow, the executive director of the Historic Waco Foundation, said she helped to organize the fall lecture and believes that it is vitally important that the Waco community see its homegrown talent and learn about its rich history.
“There is so much history in Waco and everybody needs to know our history so that we can learn what our heritage is,” Barrow said. “History is important because history is about people.”