Books Are Us


Authors Stephen Wallenfels and Maureen McQuerry

I find it extraordinary how many published authors live in the Tri-Cities. To me, having oneNew York Times bestseller Patricia Briggs–living among us is a pretty big deal. So two more writers with big time publishers releasing their novels this week just knocks my socks off.

When I think of the literary world–poets, novelists, and the like–I picture men sporting goatees wearing turtlenecks and tweed coats (patches on the elbows) and women in cocktail gowns fondling their strings of pearls exchanging chit-chat at Manhattan book parties.

I don’t picture little ol’ Tri-Cities. Not us. We’re a post World War Two landscape of scientists in chinos and plaid shirts with pocket protectors and cell phones clipped to our belts. 

Not so much, anymore.

Stephen Wallenfels and Maureen Doyle McQuerry both write for younger readers (click on their names to visit their web sites). McQuerry, who has taught at Hanford and Enterprise High Schools and Columbia Basin College, says she still relates to young adults. “My own young adult person is still talking to me, ” she says.

“I can still remember being in that place, trying to figure out who I am and all those questions young adults deal with all the time,” McQuerry says.

McQuerry’s novel THE PECULIARS, is about a young woman’s search for her father.  As her website describes it, “This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.”

Fans of science fiction–of all ages–get ready for Wallenfel ‘s debut novel POD,  an alien invasion that starts in Prosser. The local setting will draw you in, the story will keep you there.  Since its release last year in Australia and Europe, Wallenfels says many adult readers have discovered POD.

“Originally it came out as a YA release, but Penguin is actually marketing it as an adult science fiction novel now,” Wallenfels says.

It’s pure coincidence two major publishers have released the writers’ books at the same time, but Wallenfels and McQuerry will take advantage by holding a joint book launch party 4-6 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday April 28th) at Barnes and Noble at Columbia Center Mall, where they’ll sign copies of their books.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Books Are Us

  1. Randy R. LaBarge

    Great piece, Kevin. And I agree, the breadth of literary talent we have here in the TriCities is truly amazing.

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