BOOK CORNER: Author reveals story of Bakersfield in new book

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“Cookesville U.S.A.: The Wildest, Wickedest, Wealthiest Big ‘Small’ Town in the West,” by S.C. Burns, is a new historical fiction and mystery novel based on the history of Bakersfield.

The book was inspired by the author’s own life living in Bakersfield for more than four decades.

“I came to know this town’s history, many of its founding families, and learned to enjoy my life here: socially, politically, and career wise,” Burns said. “As a published academic researcher/writer, I finally decided I was here for a purpose — to expose the real Bakersfield to Hollywood and the rest of the United States.”

Inside the book, readers will view the town of Cookesville through the eyes of its founding family, the Cookes.

“Cookesville represents the best and worst of the western experience,” Burns said. “The bloody and dramatic crimes and bordellos of Bakersfield’s early history come to life in this novel, just as they literally blasted onto the scene in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

Burns describes her story of Cookesville as a “story of life in the United States — especially the pioneering West — as it developed through the decades” and it was important for her to share it.

“I realized I was living in a petri dish of global humanity, and there was more flavor in this dish than most people could taste, in one locale, in one lifetime,” said the author. “If I could share those flavors and personalities with the world at large, they would have a totally different perspective on Bakersfield — through my fictionalized version.”

“Cookesville U.S.A.” is intended for an adult audience that enjoy mysteries and the excitement of westward experiences.

“The extremes of human heights and depths will appeal to anyone who loves to involve themselves in the authentic human condition, while following the stories and mysteries of the characters who exhibit those extremes,” Burns said.

It’s the author’s hope that her book alters the perspective many have of the Bakersfield community.

In addition to being an author, Burns is an educator, historian, and published academic researcher/writer. She is based in Bakersfield.

More information about the author can be found soon via and The websites are currently under construction.

“Cookesville U.S.A.: The Wildest, Wickedest, Wealthiest Big ‘Small’ Town in the West” is available for $35.95 through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Russo’s Books in Bakersfield, and Outskirts Press Publishing Company.