From stories of fairy tales and magic, to courage and defiance under communist rule, join us at Mysterious Galaxy as we host authors Tara Gilboy,Michelle Barker, and B.A. Williamson.
Tara Gilboy earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in writing for children and young adults. Currently, Tara teaches creative writing at San Diego Community College and for the Pen Writers in Prisons Program. Her latest middle grade novel, Unwritten, follows a seemingly normal twelve-year-old girl named Gracie. Truth be told, Gracie was originally a fictional character from a fairy tale. When the people who would become her parents read the story and saw that baby Gracie was supposed to die, by the aid of a magic book they pulled her out and into the real world, where they raised her for their own. But, Gracie has always been curious about the story she came from. When she seeks out the story’s author, it sets off a chain of events that threatens not only herself, but her mother and fellow fairy tale characters.
Michelle Barker was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. She received her BA in English Literature from UBC and later her MFA in creative writing. Some of her notable accomplishments have been receiving a gold National Magazine award in personal journalism, an OLA Forest of Reading Golden Oak Award, and a Chocolate Lily Book Award to name a few. Her latest novel is The House of One Thousand Eyes, a YA story set in early 1980s Germany. For Lena, life under the communist rule is especially difficult. After a factory explosion kills both of her parents, the young girl must live with her aunt, a staunch supporter of the ruling Communist Party. One of her few joys are the sparse visits from her Uncle Erick, a best-selling author. When the man vanishes without a trace, Lena decides to search for her beloved uncle, even if it risks placing herself under the watchful gaze of the party’s many spies.
B.A is a middle-grade teacher in Indianapolis and a recipient of the Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship. When he wasn’t teaching, B.A. was working on his debut book, The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray. As B.A. website says, The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray is, “Part fantasy, party dystopian, part steampunk, and all imagination.” Gwendolyn is a young girl who hopelessly sticks out in her city of boring gray skyscrapers, clueless adults, and eternal clouds. Unlike everyone else, Gwendolyn’s imagination is on overdrive, making her a prime target for the thought police. Therefore, she must always keep her daydreams in check. But one day, her imaginary creatures come alive, escape Gwendolyn’s bedroom, and run amuck in the gray city. Soon, Gwendolyn and her creations become the targets of the Faceless Gentlemen who want to keep city peaceful and boring. With help from explorers of another world, Gwendolyn must hone her powers of imagination before she falls into the Faceless Gentlemen’s grasps.
This event is free and seating is first come, first serve. To get a book signed during one of our events, a copy of the event book must be purchased through Mysterious Galaxy. Event purchases through Mysterious Galaxy not only keeps our bookstore doors open, but also makes author signings possible.
Twelve-year-old Gracie Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she's never read. When she was a baby, her parents learned that she was supposed to die in the story, and with the help of a magic book, took her out of the story, and into the outside world, where she could be safe. But Gracie longs to know what the story says about her. Despite her mother's warnings, Gracie seeks out the story's author, setting in motion a chain of events that draw herself, her mother, and other former storybook characters back into the forgotten tale. Inside the story, Gracie struggles to navigate the blurred boundary between who she really is and the surprising things the author wrote about her. As the story moves toward its deadly climax, Gracie realizes she'll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy-tale ending.
Who can Lena trust to help her find out the truth? Life in East Germany in the early 1980s is not easy for most people, but for Lena, it's particularly hard. After the death of her parents in a factory explosion and time spent in a psychiatric hospital recovering from the trauma, she is sent to live with her stern aunt, a devoted member of the ruling Communist Party. Visits with her beloved Uncle Erich, a best-selling author, are her only respite. But one night, her uncle disappears without a trace. Gone also are all his belongings, his books, and even his birth records. Lena is desperate to know what happened to him, but it's as if he never existed. The worst thing, however, is that she cannot discuss her uncle or her attempts to find him with anyone, not even her best friends. There are government spies everywhere. But Lena is unafraid and refuses to give up her search, regardless of the consequences. This searing novel about defiance, courage, and determination takes readers into the chilling world of a society ruled by autocratic despots, where nothing is what it seems.
Gwendolyn Gray faces an overwhelming battle every day: keeping her imagination under control. It's a struggle for a dreamer like Gwendolyn, in a city of identical gray skyscrapers, clouds that never clear, and grown-ups who never understand. But when her daydreams come alive and run amok in The City, the struggle to control them becomes as real as the furry creatures infesting her bedroom. Worse yet, she's drawn the attention of the Faceless Gentlemen, who want to preserve order in The City by erasing Gwendolyn and her troublesome creations. With the help of two explorers from another world, Gwendolyn escapes and finds herself in a land of clockwork inventions and colorful creations. Now Gwendolyn must harness her powers and, with a gang of airship pirates, stop the Faceless Gentlemen from destroying the new world she loves and the home that never wanted her--before every world becomes gray and dull.