Vampires, political thrills, family dramas, and philosophers with lousy love lives are on tap for the 2011 edition of Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series. For the first time the collaborative program of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries will feature six events, all free and open to the public. All series events in 2011 will take place in Ballantyne Auditorium on the Kirkwood Community College Campus.
The series kicks off on Tuesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. with Stephen Lovely whose novel Irreplaceable is the 2011 Linn Area Reads book. Lovely attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and worked for seven years as a night clerk in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In 2005, he became director of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, a summer residential creative writing program for high school students. Irreplaceable, which is set in a fictionalized Iowa City, explores the many issues surrounding organ transplants.
On Sunday, May 15, at 2 p.m., Mary Helen Stefaniak will read from The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, which was chosen as an “Indie Next” pick in September 2010. In the acclaimed novel, a hidden history of the American South emerges when a worldly teacher leads Threestep, Georgia, to reinvent itself as “Baghdad.” Stefaniak, who is also the author of The Turk and My Mother and Self Storage and Other Stories, is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and divides her time between Iowa City and Omaha, where she teaches at Creighton University.
Andrew Shaffer, author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love, will read at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. Shaffer takes readers on an irreverent tour of the tragic love lives of great thinkers through the ages. A Cedar Rapids native who attended the University of Iowa and lives in the Quad Cities, he is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the creative director of greeting card publisher Order of St. Nick.
On Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m., bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton will read from the latest release in her popular Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. Hit List, the 20th book in the series, will be released in June. Hamilton is also the author of the urban fantasy series featuring Merry Gentry, who is a Fey princess and private investigator. Hamilton’s presentation will include adult content and will not be appropriate for children.
Thriller writer Steve Martini will appear on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. Martini introduced his popular character attorney Paul Madriani in 1992’s Compelling Evidence. He will read from the twelfth novel featuring Madriani, which is set for June release. Prior to the publication of his first novel, The Simeon Chamber in 1987, Martini had careers as a journalist and an attorney.
On Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m., Meg Cabot will present a program for both her YA and adult readers. Well known for YA novels like The Princess Diaries and Avalon High (both of which have been made into Disney films), Cabot is also a bestselling writer for adults. She will be on tour supporting Overbite, which will be released in July and is the second entry in her vampire series that began with last year’s Insatiable. Her latest YA book is Abandon, which will be released in late April and is a retelling of the Persephone myth.
All Out Loud! authors will take questions from the audience during their presentations. Additionally, all authors will sign books following their presentations with the exception of Hamilton who will pose for pictures with fans. Pre-signed copies of Hamilton’s newest book will be available for purchase at the event.
More information about the Out Loud! Author Series, as well as information about the Linn Area Reads program, is available at www.metrolibrarynetwork.org. Author web sites include: www.stephenlovely.com; www.maryhelenstefaniak.com; www.greatphilosophersbook.com; www.stevemartini.com; www.laurellkhamilton.org; www.megcabot.com.
Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series is supported by the Giacoletto Foundation with media support from The Gazette and event book sales provided by Barnes & Noble Booksellers.
Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series 2011 Events
Tuesday, April 19, 7 p.m.
Mary Helen Stefaniak
Sunday, May 15, 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 22, 2 p.m.
Laurell K. Hamilton
Friday, June 10, 7 p.m.
Friday, June 24, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 12, 7 p.m.