‘Goodfellas’ meets ‘Goodwill Hunting’: Ex-Juneauite’s novel introduces columnist to organized crime

‘Goodfellas’ meets ‘Goodwill Hunting’: Ex-Juneauite’s novel introduces columnist to organized crime

Author would be here on a book tour, but, y’know.

He’s written movie reviews, news releases, jokes, screenplays — and even helped shape the Capital City Weekly. And now, Kevin Myers has written a published novel.

“Hidden Falls” was released July 15, and Myers said in a video interview that he had initially hoped to travel back to Juneau to promote his new book.

“The initial plan was I’d be up in Juneau about now for a book tour,” Myers said. But COVID-19 altered those plans.

Myers said in some ways it’s strange how much has changed since he completed “Hidden Falls” a couple of years ago, and some of those changes color certain passages now.

[Former lobbyist writes a political thriller set in Alaska]

“You do go back because everything has changed,” Myers said. “You read passages where they’re going to bars and hanging out. You feel, like, a sense of angst. I think the other surreal part is I finished writing this sometime in 2018 and signed the deal in 2019, and then it came out two weeks ago. So really, you’re two years removed from having written it. You have to get back into it. I’ve written another novel since putting that one to bed.”

However, Myers said there is at least one advantage to releasing a book amid a pandemic — people tend to have a lot more time on their hands to read.

‘Goodfellas’ meets ‘Goodwill Hunting’: Ex-Juneauite’s novel introduces columnist to organized crime

“Hidden Falls” is about a Portland, Oregon, newspaper columnist who finds himself tangled up with organized crime in New England following the death of his father. It draws on Myers’ eclectic experiences and makes use of narrative chops built telling jokes, directing a low-budget film and writing in many different styles.

The events of the book place protagonist Michael Quinn among two disparate groups that have found their influence on the wane in recent years —organized crime and regional newspaper columnists.

“Somebody on Amazon called it ‘Goodfellas’ meets ‘Goodwill Hunting,’” Myers said.

Myers, who grew up in New England, said he is amazed by how entrenched sports betting with ties to organized crime was in everyday life — even as a tween and teen. Likewise, he grew up fascinated by columnists and the influence they wielded, and later worked for a firm that syndicated columnists.

“The protagonist talks about how being a newspaper columnist was a lifelong goal,” Myers said. “There used to be these figures. Now, they exist, but they exist on sort of these national stages. There used to be these regional icons.”

Sports are also something of a throughline in the book, Myers said, and the book’s chapters are all titled after Boston sports figures.

Myers said that’s because for a certain type of man, like some of the book’s characters, sports are one of the few avenues open for forging connections or expressing emotion without necessarily putting themselves in a vulnerable position. However, he said sports fandom is not a must to enjoy the book.

“I don’t think you have to be a sports fan to like this at all,” Myers said. “I think if you are a sports fan, there are some references that will add some richness to it. If you’re not a sports fan, it can shed light on why sports are meaningful.”

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

More in Life

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Once bitten

Just keep moving. For some people, it might be a mantra for… Continue reading

Joan Brown Dodd, left, and Doug Dodd pose for a photo at the Homer News on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
‘Hero Unaware’ based on author’s compilation of father’s war correspondence.

Letters home span the entire length of World War II from a Navy corpsman’s perspective.

Mindful ramen. (Photo by Tressa Dale/For the Clarion)
Take guilt off menu with mindful ramen

I do a lot of preaching about healthy eating, but I have… Continue reading

Bonnie Marie Playle (file)
July Musings

July is the seventh month, and is called “Dog Days” because it’s… Continue reading

2007 photo by Clark Fair 
Sometimes called “Murder House” in the years after the killing, this dilapidated Quonset hut was the scene of the crime.
A killing close to home

By Clark Fair For the Peninsula Clarion We all hope we live… Continue reading

The stage for "Grounded" is seen inside of the Kenai Performers’ black box theatre on Monday, March 15 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Presenting Little Mermaid

Kenai Performers youth drama camp takes center stage

This rich Parmesan risotto makes a creamy base for mushrooms and kale. Photographed July 10, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Kale salad? Not so much

A cream risotto makes an indulgent base for the nutritional green

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: The generations … my how they flow by

It has been over 20 years since we had a 1-year-old in the house for any extended period of time.

This orange Julius swaps out the traditional egg whites with sweetened condensed milk, for a tangy and safe summer treat. Photographed July 4, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Adding some orange to the red, white and blue

A quintessentially American drink cools off any Fourth of July celebration.

Nick Varney (courtesy)
Flying fish and lead. Oh my!

Homer can become rather rowdy at times.

Pottery is on display on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at the Kenai Art Center, which is reopening on Thursday for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘The more we get together’

Kenai Art Center celebrates reopening with work from Potters’ Guild

Containing onions, carrots, shitake mushrooms and noodles Japchae is a stir-fried Korean vegetable and noodle dish that is delectable hot, cold and everywhere in between. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Noodles made with a loving hand

Japchae is a stir-fried Korean vegetable and noodle dish that is delectable hot, cold and everywhere in between