Intersection - Mid-Missouri Authors on Writing Hauntings, Dramatic Villians and Nerd Dating

Today, we're talking with three mid-Missouri authors - Mary Collins Barile, David Crespy and Brian Katcher. They've written plays, books on local folklore and young adult novels.


Barile is author of "Haunted Columbia, Missouri" and "The Haunted Boonslick: Monsters of Missouri's Heartland." Her folklore work is fantasy, but Barile found many of the stories to be rooted in history.

Crespy writes plays and is the author of "Zenith Escape." He originally wrote the play in the 80's, but he said the themes still ring true today. Dr. Crespy is also a professor in the University of Missouri's theater department.

Brain Katcher is a young adult fiction author and an elementary school librarian in Moberly. His book "The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak" is about two teenagers who end up on an accidental first date at a science-fiction convention.

Mary Collins Barile:

  • "Well one of my favorites is a ghost story that appeared in Boonville, and it's the headless horse...Boonville believed that there was a headless horse that would stand up, and you could see it on some of the rooftops, and it would stand up and whinny and you couldn't see it's head."
  • "I think writing a play for me is the scariest type of writing. You write a book. You know, you get a review or somebody hates it or somebody loves it, it's out there and it is what it is. When you write for theater, it's that every night. New audience, new critics, new likes, new dislikes. It is the toughest writing I've ever done."

David. A Crespy:

  • "You learn very quickly that the kind of material that kids like is the stuff that's going to make them laugh, stuff that's going to have an interactive quality to it... you can't really talk down to them because they're smart. And especially these kids, these days, are really smart. And so writing for them you have to write for yourself as though you were a kid."
  • "The Columbia, Missouri area has really kind of exploded and grown in terms of dramatic writing."

Brian Katcher:

  • "I was living down in the country of Mexico and my girlfriend broke up with me and that's what you do when you're down and out in Mexico. You write a book."
  • "It's a lot easier to write about something you're familiar with, such as going to cons... my editor once had tried to have me write a book about somebody with terminal cancer and after many false starts I had to give it up just because I was reading other people's stories and other people's experience."
  • "My editor said, 'I want you to write a book about a couple of nerdy kids.' I said, 'You have come to the right guy.'"

Assistant Producers for this show are Beatriz Costa-Lima, Drew Mathieu, Haley Broughton, Aviva Okeson-Haberman and Hannah Rodriguez.