About Norm...

Norm Ledgin blends adventure and romance into historical fiction, both in his “best Kansas books” selection The Jayhawker and in his latest, Sally of Monticello: Founding Mother.

His writings include the nonfiction Diagnosing Jefferson and Asperger’s and Self-Esteem, the latter republished in France and containing conclusions used in the movie Adam and the novel House Rules, by Jodi Picoult. These early works led him to a national speaking tour in which he shared the platform with the autistic Dr. Temple Grandin.

The third president is the focus of Norm’s blog. His knowledge has led to a continuing education instructor role with the University of Kansas, “Explaining the Perplexing Thomas Jefferson.” He remains in popular demand as a speaker on a variety of subjects. He has also dabbled in mystery writing with Sour Notes and is at work on a sequel, Disharmony, both using operatic intrigues as paths to entertaining crime-solving.

The New Jersey native is a former newspaper editor. For two decades he was a prizewinning traffic safety specialist in Southwest Louisiana and the Kansas City area, then with wife Marsha he returned to newspaper editing and publishing in Illinois and Kansas.

Norm is a member of the Kansas Authors’ Club, the Missouri Writers’ Guild, and the Kansas City Writers’ Group.

Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson -- the 38-year love story

Available in paperback & e-book! Click here to order.



Teenaged Sally Hemings, mixed-race slave and sister-in-law to widower Thomas Jefferson, captured his heart while serving his daughters in Paris, where he was U.S. Minister. It was there a 38-year relationship began.


The historical novel, Sally of Monticello: Founding Mother, portrays a bright, assertive woman. She resolved his “inner conflict,” according to historian Winthrop D. Jordan, by ridding him of “high tension concerning women and Negroes.” Norm Ledgin based the novel’s timeline on Jefferson’s precise recordkeeping and collection of letters.


Controversy over the affair and over recent DNA findings continues to fuel books and articles. Sally decided voluntarily to return with Jefferson from slavery-free France to Virginia. They had several children who went free, and they left a mixed-race legacy now woven into the fabric of the nation.


This novel is an illuminating take on history. It is filled with emotion and adventure in the voice of a self-educated, sacrificing woman, whose passionate love and devotion helped guide one of our founding fathers.