On Wednesday afternoon, June 8, I went to a wine bar in Pleasanton (and I don't even drink wine!) to see J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest. I read this book late last year for the Books, Inc. Palo Alto Tuesday Evening Book Club. And I posted a review on 10/26/15. I gave it a 3.25/4. It's a good book.
It was a treat to see an author that, unexpectedly, makes a local appearance after I have already read the book. And, as usual, I learned some interesting facts about the author. Such as:
1. It is Ryan's debut novel.
2. The book takes place in Minnesota, and Ryan comes from Minnesota. But he has lived in LA for the past 16 years.
3. His protagonist is a female. And he has 2 long-time female friends who acted as the prototypes for his lead character.
4. Ryan intended Kitchens of the Great Midwest to be a mother-daughter story, not a food novel.
5. The 1st draft of Ryan's new book was turned into his agent just 2 days ago.
Interesting guy, fun venue. And I always enjoy events put on by Towne Center Books. Judy and her crew (Clare, in this case) do a great job.
This is NOT J. Ryan Stradal. This is Clare.
2 LAUNCHES THIS WEEK:
1. Yesterday, June 9, Balcony 7 Publishing released Little Boy Soup by my son, Joshua Russell. Being a bibliophile, it's particularly exciting to see him as a published author (P.S. his mother is pretty proud, too!)
2. One of my favorite local authors, Alina Sayre, releases her 3rd book in the Voyages of the Legend series today. It's called The Illuminator Rising. It is a very worthy follow-up to books 1 and 2. You can go to my May 4 post to read a review. Although I am approximately 55 years (ouch) beyond the target date for this YA fantasy, middle-grade oriented series, I enjoyed it immensely.