Bestselling author honors KC teacher who saw her talent early on

Posted at 2:48 PM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 19:20:53-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A big-time author who grew up in Kansas City came back to honor her high school teacher she says had a big impact on her.

Gillian Flynn has written three New York Times Best Sellers: "Gone Girl," "Dark Places" and "Sharp Objects." She just released her new book "The Grownups."

Gillian graduated from Bishop Miege High School in 1989. While she was there she had a teacher named Mr. Craig Ewing.

Describing herself as a “shy” student who didn't "dazzle," she said she was often overlooked.

Gillian was in the honors English program and there was discussion that maybe she wasn't quite ready for something so advanced.

Mr. Ewing fought to keep her in the program. He explained to others she had a talent for writing and needed the program to keep developing the skill he recognized was there.

Mr. Ewing was at Miege for 12 years but has been at St. Thomas Aquinas for the past 30 years.

The two met at Aquinas Friday for an assembly. Students learned Gillian’s backstory and some insight into how she does her work now.

Gillian told them she doesn't know the ending to her books when she starts writing. She lets the characters develop and they guide the direction of the story.

She writes in the lower level of her home and sometimes struggles to leave the dark world of her writing, and emerge into the real world of her married life as a mom of two young children. To help with that transition, for the last 15 minutes of her workday, she listens to music and sometimes dances. She specifically mentioned Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk.

Gillian is working on a new novel she calls "dark." She’s also excited for a film she helped co-write being released this fall. It’s a thriller she and Steve McQueen wrote together called "Widows."