Author Talks at the Matthews

Featured Author: Robyn VanDersys & MJ Witt


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Author Talks at the Matthews returns with a new lineup of local writers ready to dive into their stories, their methods, and their inspirations. Join us in the fireplace room every Tuesday at 12:30 for an hour with some of the best authors in the Black Hills area!

Are you interested in presenting an Author Talk? Contact us at 605-717-6967 or [email protected]

Featured author…

February 21: Robyn VanDersys & MJ Witt

Robyn VanDersys was born in Washington State, which is where her love for the great outdoors was born.  She has lived in several different states and in 2015 settled in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and kids. Her life has consisted of one adventure to the next, including racing monster trucks in her early twenties,  raising three strong children, riding around Mexico on her four wheeler while living out of a backpack, and volunteering on a chase team while her husband raced the Baja 1000. She spends her free time off-roading and hiking the many trails of the Black Hills, and also enjoys traveling and having as many adventures as humanly possible.

MJ Witt is an apocalyptic fiction writer with Raventhorne Books. Born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota, MJ Witt has plied his hand at an amazing variety of vocations, including wilderness outfitter, horse trainer, SCUBA diving instructor, dolphin trainer before finally settling into technology. Being an avid reader his whole life, the transition to writing is his newest adventure. He loves authors who can tell a good story, and Robert Heinlein and Louis L’Amour are among his icons. He lives with his wife and child in the Pacific Northwest. If he isn’t working on their farm taking care of the horses and other animals, you will often find him traveling around the world enjoying new experiences and seeing what’s over the next horizon.

Coming Soon…

February 28: Noel Hamiel

Noel Hamiel is a career newspaperman of 35 years beginning at the Huron Plainsman, and the final 14 years at The Daily Republic where he retired as publisher in 2007. In 2007, he accepted a position with the South Dakota Community Foundation where he worked with communities statewide in philanthropic development. During his career, Hamiel received numerous awards for editorial and column writing. He served as an instructor of mass communications at St. Thomas More College, Fort Thomas, Ky. He is also the author of Sketches of South Dakota, published in 2002 and illustrated by Allison Hamiel.

Hamiel will speak about his book, South Dakota Mathis Murders: Horror in the Heartland, which focusses on, perhaps, the most infamous murder case in state history. Mathis was shot twice in the head at point-blank range inside the family’s steel shed serving as their makeshift home. Two of her three children, ages 2 and 4, were also shot in the head. The brutality of the killings shocked the state and set off a frenzy of law enforcement activity. Despite its intensity, the investigation never found the murderer or the murder weapon. Though charged with the crime, Mathis’s husband was acquitted, leaving the door open for endless speculation about what really occurred on that late summer morning of Sept. 8, 1981. With renewed insight from those involved, veteran South Dakota journalist Noel Hamiel explores this cold case of murder and mystery that still haunts the Mount Rushmore state.


Date and Time:


Tuesday, February 21, 2023


12:30 pm - 1:30 pm





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