Ridley Pearson

St. Louis-based author Ridley Pearson.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis-based author Ridley Pearson has written over 50 suspense and adventure novels but his latest, “White Bone,” is tackling an issue that is close to him: illegal wildlife poaching in Africa.

Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

On any given day, the world of Broadway wheelin’ and dealin’ feels pretty far away from St. Louis, Missouri. Not so for author Ridley Pearson, who makes his home here. As the co-author of the popular series “Peter and the Starcatchers” with writer Dave Barry, Pearson has been involved in that world as his book has been adapted for the Broadway stage.

Sarah Crowder / courtesy photo

St. Louis author Ridley Pearson is no stranger to the New York Times Bestseller List. But in writing his books (of which there are many) he aspires to more than popularity.

“I try to always put a social issue under my novels without getting on a soap box so that when you end my novel there’s also something you want to go Google or go learn about,” said Pearson. By introducing his readers to social issues such as poaching or the illegal art trade, he hopes he inspires his readers to get involved, talk to their senators or donate money to a good cause.

courtesy Peter and the Starcatcher

After a Tony-winning run on Broadway, “Peter and the Starcatcher” is currently on tour, with a stop in St. Louis next weekend.  The musical play is a prequel to Peter Pan that tells the story of how Peter Pan became “the boy who never grew up.”

Playwright Rick Elice adapted the play from the book “Peter and the Starcatchers,” which was co-written by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry.

St. Louisan Ridley Pearson joined host Steve Potter in studio to talk about the play. Rick Elice and Dave Barry contributed to the conversation via phone, Elice from New York and Barry from Miami.