Purchase photos

Hays author hopes thriller becomes first of a series





Jeanne Riedel began writing for fun by collaborating on a book with a friend. Even though the book was only for fun, it inspired Riedel to start writing her own.

Nearly three decades years later, the 58-year-old Hays native is having her first book published through Strategic Book Publishing and Righs Co.

"Mistaken Identity" is a thriller based in a fictitious small Kansas town.

"I would just say it is a combination of the towns around here, basically a small town," Riedel said. "Not real big or anything, but your basic small town: Hays, Victoria, Ellis that type of thing."

The story follows a character named Emily, who is meeting her best friend Liz to remodel a house. On her arrival, Emily finds Liz's body and local police believe she committed suicide.

The thriller follows Emily's journey to find answers about Liz's death.

The 204-page book underwent three rewrites before Riedel felt it was ready to be published.

"Over the years, I think I improved it and developed it, and felt like it was about ready to be published," Riedel said.

"Mistaken Identity" is her first completed book, but Riedel said there will be a series.

"I'm working on the second one, I have ideas for the third one," Riedel said. "I am not sure how many I will be doing."

Riedel also said that in addition to writing the book, the publishing process left her surprised.

"The proofing of it ... I had several people read it and help me edit it and everything," Riedel said. "I was surprised at how evolved it was with getting it published and getting the text approved and reading through it, checking for errors."

The book is available online at http://sbpra.com/JeanneRiedel, barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com for $16.97.

Riedel also said the book will be available for purchase at Hastings, 3300 Vine Street.

"I'm excited about having my first book out and hoping it's a big success," she said. "I've had people read it and tell me they've enjoyed it, so that always makes me feel really good."

Riedel shared some advice.

"I would just like to encourage anyone who has a dream or idea to do it," she said. "It's never too late."