‘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

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: This and that

Organizations are running out of people to keep them going

This Al Hershberger photo of his good friend Hedley Parsons was taken in Germany in 1945, after World War II had ended. Parsons and Hershberger came to Alaska together a few years later, and in 2010, when Parsons was interviewed for this story, he may have been the last person living who had actually attended George Dudley’s messy funeral
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 2

The funeral was scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 5, and spring break-up was in full, sloppy bloom at the Kenai Cemetery

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
A copy of “People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska” stands in sunlight in Soldotna on Friday.
Off the Shelf: Community history project a colorful portrait of hometown

The book features the work of students at Moose Pass School and integrates further stories pulled from a community newspaper

The Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra performs. (Photo courtesy Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra)
Anchorage orchestra group to visit Kenai Peninsula for 10th annual tour

Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra will play four shows from May 30 to June 2

File
Minister’s Message: Boasting only in Christ and the Cross

The Reverend Billy Graham advised every president since Truman during his lifetime

Corn cheese is served alongside grilled beef, kimchi and lettuce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Planning barbecue with all the bells and whistles

Expect kimchi, lots of side dishes, piles of rice, marinated meat for the flame and cold fruit for dessert

Noa (voiced by Owen Teague) in 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.” (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
On the Screen: New ‘Planet of the Apes’ expands, brings new ideas to franchise universe

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” tells a story that feels more rooted in fantasy than the post-apocalypse vibe of its predecessors

A mural depicting imagery and iconography of Kenai brightens the entryway of the Walmart in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Visible art raises people’s spirits’

Local artist’s mural introduced as part of Walmart renovations

Former North Kenai resident George Coe Dudley, seen here during the winter of 1950-51, was a hard-drinking man. His messy funeral in 1967 in Kenai echoed his lifestyle. (Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger)
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 1

“Dudley was an easy-going, laid-back sort of guy, always laughing and joking, as well as hard drinking.”

Most Read