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M. C. Bunn .jpg

As a reader, my tastes are very diverse. I have a passion for the classics and love a good adventure. As a writer, I enjoy creating memorable characters who may be a bit eccentric, but experience life on their own terms.

I am the author of the USA Today Bestseller They Call Me Crazy, Call Me Daddy, and Call Me Cass. My work has appeared in a variety of publications including Red Earth Review, Tower Journal, Family Digest and Chicken Soup for the Soul. My fiction has won awards from Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Writers Weekly, Writers Courtyard, Women on Writing and the Ground Zero Literary Project.

I teach communications, humanities and literature at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and make my home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

More Books by
Kelly Stone Gamble

Helen Carter lives in the back seat of her father’s Model T in the harsh Nevada desert, surrounded by thousands of desperate souls trying to endure the hardships of the Great Depression. When her father dies while working on the Hoover Dam diversion tunnels, she finds herself alone. In this unforgiving landscape where marriage, prostitution, and starvation seem to be her only viable choices, Helen is determined to defy society's expectations of a young woman and create her own American dream. She relies on her resourcefulness to survive but soon realizes she can't go it alone.

Ezra Deal, a young dam worker, brought his sister to Nevada in search of the father of her child, only to have the man reject her. Tragically, both his sister and the baby pass away during childbirth, leaving Ezra with a profound sense of guilt. Determined to distance himself from any further responsibilities, he focuses on his job and locating the man who callously denied his sister. But when he learns that his friend Helen is running from not only the law but also a Las Vegas gangster, he must decide between his independent lifestyle and helping her.

As Helen and Ezra grow closer and become more invested in the diversion of the Colorado River from its course, their lives parallel this monumental change. Ezra can picture building a life with Helen, but she has other ideas. With the help of a thirteen-year-old runaway, a few prostitutes, a dead desperado, and Ezra, Helen embarks on a journey to live life on her terms.

Incorporating actual dramatic events gleaned from the oral histories of the dam workers, Ragtown highlights a time in American history when ordinary men and women overcame the challenges of the Great Depression and thrived.


Kelly Stone Gamble

Book Excerpt or Article

The Hoover Dam is a model of American engineering and ingenuity. But, it is also a testament to the fortitude of the common man: overcoming the burdens of the Great Depression, learning to survive and thrive in an unforgiving climate. It was that story that I was compelled to write.

RAGTOWN explores the different roles placed on men and women during the Great Depression, not only by society, but themselves, and what each must do to survive in the harsh climate of the Nevada desert. As both Helen and Ezra are vested in the diversion of the Colorado River from the course it has run for thousands of years, their lives parallel this monumental change.

My inspiration to write comes from the personal histories of actual dam workers who endured this remarkable era in American history. It is through Helen and Ezra that I tell their story.

More Articles and Excerpts by
Kelly Stone Gamble
and other authors
S.P. Somtow
Donna Balon
Julia Ibbotson
Keira Morgan
Linda Bennett Pennell
Art Wyckerham
Nethaniel Spero
Gail Combs Oglesby
Vera Bell
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