Augusta resident and former Wellington Daily News editor Adam Catlin releases his latest novel

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Front cover of Adam Catlin's new book "Uninvited"

Southwestern College graduate of 2002, Adam Catlin, began “Uninvited” as a classic case of ‘what if?’ back in 2018. 

What if the old St John’s College campus was haunted by ghosts who were protecting a portal to the past located in the basement of Baden Hall?

In 1986, St John’s College, in Winfield, KS, closed its doors forever, with both students and faculty going their separate ways. The college became a part of history with the old campus lurking in the shadows of Winfield. 

In 1998, Jack Connor and his girlfriend, Kate Samples, explore Baden Hall, the former administration building of the old campus, and make a startling discovery of a paranormal nature that will haunt them forever. 

In 2018, Kate has vanished from her home in Winfield, and Jack, a former newspaper editor, is tasked with finding her. As he begins to dig, he finds the clues that lead back to the old college campus and he begins to realize it's not where she might be.

“I had been wanting to write a mystery for quite some time at that point.  One of my favorite movies is 'Chinatown' and I really wanted to try my hand at something like that," said Adam Catlin. "I have been fascinated with the history of the old St. John’s College campus ever since my first visit there in the fall of 1994, being honored as a KU Honors Scholar my senior year of high school." 

"Six years later, when I was living in Winfield, I spent many hours walking in Baden Square admiring the old buildings," said Catlin."  In 2012, my wife, Katherine, and I got married in Meyer Hall.  In the years since I have acted in one of the Winfield Community Theatre productions. My wife has acted in several of them and helped out with makeup, so I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time on the old campus.”

Catlin’s newest novel is his first in nearly a decade. 

Over the past several years, Catlin tried to develop two of his screenplays into feature films. With “On a Clear Day, You Can See Conway,” he got down the road with it a certain way before funding didn’t quite fall into place as he had hoped. 

“It was a real heartbreaker,” Catlin laments.  “I had a fellow working on themes for the score for me. He had worked with my favorite film composer, John Barry, and it was really looking like it might come together.”

Catlin began writing “Uninvited” in 2018, returning to the Southwestern College Library where he had first begun writing his first novel, “Until August”, back in 2001.

Catlin remembers 2018 with mixed emotions as he was the editor of the Wellington Daily News. He was also dealing with health issues that climaxed in a five-day hospital stay just before Christmas that year. 

“I was rushed to the hospital and got to have emergency gallbladder removal surgery," said Catlin. "I was released from Wesley, in Wichita, on Christmas morning.  So, with this book, I am definitely dealing with matters of mortality and running out of time.”

Through flashbacks in the first half of the book, Jack remembers the beginnings of his relationship with Kate at Cowley College. As their relationship progresses, they move on to classes at Wichita State University.

Catlin has no real plans of writing another novel anytime soon.  He says these books take a lot out of him, personally. 

"I have been writing stories in and around Cowley County for over twenty years now," said Catlin. "I’m going to be 45 this November, and I would really like to do other things yet. I feel like I have left it all out on the field, so to speak. I would love to go back to Cowley College one more time for one last project if I can. We’ll just have to see what happens.”

Catlin lives in Augusta with his wife, Katherine, and their children Aiden and Shaylee.  

“Uninvited” is available to purchase from the Lulu bookstore. The cover is a photo taken by Darrell McClung of lightning over Highland Cemetery and was used with his permission.  

“Uninvited” currently has its own Facebook page.  

Catlin hopes to have copies available to purchase locally soon, as well as to check out at libraries in the area. There are tentative plans for book signings.  

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.