Good Eats, a News Pup and a Fictional Crime Reporter, From A Trio of WRAL Authors

Several WRAL-TV News Reporters are also published authors.  WRAL-TV reporters Amanda Lamb, Scott Mason and Kasey Cunningham all have new books out in 2020.  Here’s the scoop:

Tar Heel Traveler’s Good Eats: 101 Down-Home North Carolina Classics by Scott Mason

Tar Heel Traveler: Good EatsWRAL-TV Specialty Reporter Scott Mason released a new book in the Tar Heel Traveler series this year.  Tar Heel Traveler’s Good Eats: 101 Down-Home North Carolina Classics debuted April 1, 2020, which Mason described as “perhaps the worst possible time for a book release as the pandemic had just begun; all my book signings and appearances were immediately canceled.”

Despite the COVID complications, the book is making it into the hands of Tar Heel Traveler fans.

“Online sales have soared!” said Mason.  “I have also managed to do some recent signings, quite safely, with mask in place—plus, my table of books acts as a nice barrier.”

Mason shared about the book:

Tar Heel Traveler restaurant stories are always among the most popular. All that good eatin’! But after they air on TV, people tend to ask, “Now, where was that place again?” You don’t have to ask anymore. Tar Heel Traveler’s Good Eats is a restaurant guide (one to keep in your car at all times!). The important information—restaurant name, address, phone number, website—is at the top of each chapter, and the chapters themselves capture the personalities of each place. I remember them fondly from my Tar Heel Traveler visits and can’t wait to return. I’m always up for seconds!

Scott Mason

WRAL-TV’s Scott Mason

Published by Globe Pequot Press, the largest publisher of regional books in the nation, Good Eats is Mason’s fifth Tar Heel Traveler book.  The paperback is “cleverly designed to carry in the glove compartment of a car,” Mason explained.

The public can order autographed copies of Good Eats and all of Mason’s book at his website: Mason will write personalized notes on the inside sleeve and mail them to people’s homes.

Dead Last by Amanda Lamb

Dead LastWRAL-TV News Reporter Amanda Lamb is a seasoned author with 9 nonfiction books under her belt, 3 true-crime books, 4 memoirs and 2 children’s books.  Now she is making her first foray into fiction with a series featuring character Maddie Arnette, a retired crime reporter who ends up in the middle of solving crimes.

Dead Last was released in May 2020.  Lamb has also faced challenges due to the pandemic.

“Much of the promotion I do regionally is in-person at book events, conferences, libraries, and so on,” said Lamb.  “So, all of that has been canceled. I have been basically selling it online and promoting it through social media.”

She has found creative ways to share her newest publication.

“I did do an online book reading and take questions through Facebook at Cary’s historic Pink House courtesy of owner Sheila Ogle and with the help of my friend Liza Weidle when the book was first released,” Lamb explained.  “That was something new to me, but it was a lot of fun and I think a great success.”

She says she looks forward to having more opportunities once things open up again.

“One of the hardest parts is that I can’t sign peoples’ books and speak to readers in person, and that’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing,” said Lamb.

Besides being her first try at fiction, Dead Last is also Lamb’s first book she has voiced as an audiobook.

Amanda Lamb

WRAL-TV’s Amanda Lamb

“I got the idea to do it because I have started podcasting for Capitol Broadcasting, and I really wanted to tackle an audiobook,” she said.  “I worked with a freelance producer and it was a lot more work than I expected. The final product was about 8 1/2 hours, but I spent more than 20 hours recording and re-recording to make sure it was just right. In the end I was very proud of what we produced. In some ways I think it will reach my audience more widely because it is rare for the author to read his or her own work.”

Dead Last is only the first of a series Lamb plans to write.  She has already completed the second installment, what she calls her “pandemic” novel, called Lies that Bind, which should be released in May 2021. Lamb is currently working on the third novel, titled No Wake Zone, that she hopes to release in 2022, and keep the series going from there.

Lamb says the best way to purchase Dead Last is through any platform where you shop for books.  The direct link at Amazon is: Dead Last: A Maddie Arnette Novel (Maddie Arnette Novels)

Chief the News Pup by Kasey Cunningham

Chief The News PupWRAL-TV News Reporter Kasey Cunningham is a first-time author and was inspired by her rescue dog to write her first children’s book.  She adopted Chief in 2018 after seeing all of the animals in need of rescue during Hurricane Florence.

Cunningham told her sister about Chief tagging along on a news story, her sister suggested “that sound like a children’s book,” and the idea was born.

Cunningham shared about the book:

Chief is a rescue dog with a nose for news. Caught in a hurricane, he was rescued and adopted by a busy news reporter. He tags along to his first breaking news story and Chief can’t help but take matters into his own paws. “Chief the News Pup” is filled with detailed and colorful illustrations and an adventure that will have the reader cheering for Chief throughout the story.

Bill Underwood, a cartoonist and illustrator based in Raleigh, North Carolina, illustrated Chief the News Pup.

Kasey Cunningham

WRAL-TV’s Kasey Cunningham

Find more of Underwood’s illustrations and comics on on @iceghostart on social media, or on their website Follow Chief’s adventures on social media: @chiefthenewspup

Chief the News Pup sold out on Amazon the first day it was available, December 4, but should be back in stock soon.

“It’s self-published so I’ve been doing everything from packing shipments, to formatting the book and found a printer and illustrator,” Cunningham said.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Scott Mason, Amanda Lamb and Kasey Cunningham for these Capcom photos.

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