This week is unofficial local Young Adult author week on the blog. On Friday I'll feature an interview with Veronica Roth, the author of the very popular book Divergent and its recent follow-up, Insurgent.
Today though I want to give a shout-out to my friend M. Molly Backes, whose debut YA novel The Princesses of Iowa comes out Tuesday. Don't let the word "princesses" in the title fool you: I heard Molly read from the first chapter a few weekends ago and the book is bitingly funny, raw, real and not at all princessy. If you'd like to meet Molly in person and get a signed copy of your book, StoryStudio will be hosting a book launch party for her next week. Details below from the press release:
"StoryStudio Chicago, the center for writing and writers, will host a book launch party to celebrate the release of local author M. Molly Backes's debut novel The Princesses of Iowa.
The event, on Friday, May 18, from 7 pm to 10pm, will feature a reading and book signing, guest appearances by local performers, hors d'oeuvres, and drinks. Books will be available for purchase by local independent bookstore The Book Cellar. "StoryStudio is thrilled to host this event," says Director Jill Pollack. "It's a great chance to bring the writing community together, celebrate the success of our writers, and support our literary partners like the Book Cellar."
M. Molly Backes is the Assistant Director of StoryStudio, and has been teaching creative writing classes there since 2008, but she began as a student. "StoryStudio is the perfect place to celebrate the publication of The Princesses of Iowa, as it's played such a significant role in the life of this book." Backes workshopped chapters of the book in StoryStudio's Advanced Fiction Workshop. "I would not be the writer I am today without [StoryStudio director and founder] Jill Pollack," Backes said.
The Princesses of Iowa, a young adult novel, is a reverse-Cinderella story in which an It-girl who seems to have everything begins to wonder if there's more to life than being popular. Publisher's Weekly calls it "a well-executed first novel... Backes addresses guilt, deceit, homophobia, loyalty, and the burden of keeping up appearances in a brutally believable high school setting." School Library Journal says, "Backes takes Dead Poets Society and brings it into the age of Mean Girls... with the overarching message that anyone can become more than what others perceive them to be."
The Princesses of Iowa launch party is free and open to the public. It will take place on Friday, May 18, 2012, from 7 pm - 10 pm at StoryStudio's Chicago location, 4043 N. Ravenswood, Suite 222, Chicago, IL.