Ep 4: The Stories Behind the Books with Author David Smale

David Smale is one of the great sportswriters in our country, and he resides right here on the outskirts of Kansas City. You might have heard about his new book chronicling the history the Chiefs, which we’ll discuss on the show, but we wanted to hear more of the stories behind the other 20+ books he’s written during his career.
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While we might not have the record of success that other cities do, Kansas City is blessed to have great teams and organizations to pull for.

We’re also lucky to have one of the country’s best writers here to document the history and tell the stories of the athletes and the competitions. David Smale has covered every level of sports for more than 40 years and he’s been published by some of the top outlets. On top of that, he’s now authored more than 20 books, mostly on sports history, and his newest is perfect for every Chiefs fan. The Keys to the Kingdom is out now and takes you back through the entire timeline of the current Super Bowl champs.

Someone with that much knowledge and experience can tell a lot of great stories, which is why we asked him to join the podcast. He’s been telling you about everyone else for so long and it’s time to learn more about who he is and what goes into writing so many books.

There’s a lot to like about this conversation, but it’s very interesting to hear how a few of his books came about and the time it takes to finish them up.

Or how little time it takes in some cases.

This new book was a product of the COVID pandemic with the tightest deadline you could imagine. Smale had less than a month to produce this deep dive into the Chiefs so that it could be available for fans at the start of the season, and he got it done in two weeks thanks to 14-hour days behind the keyboard.

That’s just one of the compelling stories you’ll hear on this episode, and you’ll even find out what ideas could become the next book for Smale. He’s a busy man and we appreciate the time he spent for this show. Make sure you check it out and visit his website to pick up a copy of The Keys to the Kingdom.

Here are some of the other topics to we’ll get to during the show:

  • How he got his start at Newsday
  • The tip that changed the way he wrote forever.
  • Which book that he’s written is his favorite?
  • The stories behind many of his books.
  • The effects of the pandemic on his business and college towns
  • His future goals
  • The work he does in addition to writing books.

We discuss all those things and more on the show. Check out the timestamps below to skip around to the specific topics you’d like to hear.

[0:45] – Background on David

[2:32] – How he got started in the media

[6:17] – The story behind his first book

[8:26] – How many books he’s written

[9:02] – What he’s written about and which are his favorites

[16:29] – The story behind his newest book on the Chiefs

[20:37] – How do you decide what to write about?

[23:14] – What is the typical timeframe for writing a book?

[24:34] – How COVID has impacted his business?

[25:40] – What is this pandemic doing to college towns?

[27:40] – What goals do you have?

[30:35] – What he does when he’s not writing books?

[31:36] – Ways to connect with David and find his books

[33:00] – If you have an idea for a book, here’s how to get it to him.


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Bernie Wurts

Since 1994, Bernie Wurts has been working with individuals and business owners to help them map out their retirement and succession plan.


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