Kandi Hughes, Grant City, has recently released her first book, “The Flame Manipulator.”

Hughes, describes herself as a small town girl originally from Nebraska. She moved back to a small town setting in her 20s and has enjoyed working as a bookkeeper for Worth County R-III School District, in Grant City.

“I’ve enjoyed this job in our close-knit community for over 20 years,” said Hughes, who has two step-sons and a granddaughter.

“I believe this has been a challenging year for all of us. Back in March the students in our Missouri schools were sent home due to COVID-19. With my duties as the bookkeeper I continued to work, but the hallways were quiet without my school family. Then at night all of the news was disheartening,” recalled Hughes.

During this trying time she decided to write a story for the entertainment of her family, friends and co-workers.

“My ambition was to write a quick, easy to read, suspenseful book.

“When I started writing my first book I was intimidated as I had never tried anything of this caliber. However, I kept my father in mind. With our Easter visit canceled and not being able to visit with him by phone due to his hearing loss, I knew this would be a way for us to connect, and he would enjoy reading my story. So I jumped in and finished my first book which I named “The Flame Manipulator,” and I dedicated it to my dad for Father’s Day.

The story, written in narrative style, tells of a college coed, Cassie, home on a college break, who discovers her brother, a police detective, is missing. She and her brother’s partner try to unravel the maniac’s identity who plays a life and death game with unsuspecting victims using his favorite weapon of explosives. Cassie’s adventures put herself, her brother and an old classmate in danger.

Co-workers at Worth County school volunteered to help the first-time author with editing, cover illustrating and technology issues.

“Once I plunged into writing I decided I should write a three book series. I have completed the first two books. The second one is ‘The Flame Impersonator,’” said Hughes. “I’m still working on the final book of the story and I’ve named it ‘The Flame Annihilator.’”

“If any attention is derived by this book I would like to honor our public schools. I think our teachers are doing a great job in educating our students in this difficult time. I feel one of our biggest obstacles is when we have to go to distance learning and they are trying to connect with the students electronically. In our remote area we have unreliable internet.

“I faced this obstacle myself in trying to write a book. I had to write this book the old fashion way with pen and paper. My superintendent was generous and allowed me to use my work computer on the weekends and in the evenings to transfer my scribbling penmanship to a typed manuscript.

“My hope was to create something positive in this difficult year, and I’m hopeful that others will be interested in sharing this story.”


This book is being offered at the Nodaway News Leader at a cost of $10.