Award winning author of four novels, Carla Stewart, will speak at the Borger Rotary on Tuesday, June 4.
Carla (Brune) Stewart has deep roots in the Texas Panhandle. Born in Guymon, Oklahoma, she moved with her parents to the Sher-Han camp north of Gruver, at the age of two and graduated from Gruver High School in 1968.
She received a degree in nursing from the University of Oklahoma and married her college sweetheart, Max Stewart of Balko, OK. They have four adult sons, three of whom graduated from Balko High School, and six grandchildren.
Stewart says, â€śI always knew I wanted to write books like those I loved to read, but being busy with a family and working, I kept putting it off, saying I would do it someday. In 2000, I turned fifty years old and my youngest son entered high school. I realized someday would never come if I didnâ€™t pursue it.â€ť
She wrote her first novel the following yearâ€”a book which didnâ€™t get published, but the writing bug had come to stay.
In 2002, she won the coveted honor of being invited to the Guideposts Writers Workshop and spent several years writing magazine articles and personal experience stories for anthologies. Her first novel, Chasing Lilacs, was published in 2010 by FaithWords, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, to wide acclaim and received a starred review in Publisherâ€™s Weekly.
Not surprisingly, itâ€™s her Texas roots and small town upbringing that she most enjoys bringing to life in her novels. A passion for times gone by, her desire is to take readers to that place in their hearts called home.
Stewart has been an Oklahoma Book Award finalist the past three years, won the 2011 Best Book of Fiction trophy award at Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., and was the 2012 Inspirational Readersâ€™ Choice Award (Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of RWA) winner in womenâ€™s fiction for her second novel, Broken Wings.
Stardust, the novel which released in 2012, and which she will be discussing, was recently short-listed for the INSPY Award.
Stardust is set in the Piney Woods of East Texas in 1952â€”the height of the polio epidemic. Stewart will be sharing some of the research from that book and will be available to answer questions about her career and her books. Her most recent release, Sweet Dreams, also has a Texas setting with part of the story involving geology and the Texas oilfield in 1962.
You can read more about Stewart and her books at www.carlastewart.com. She will have copies of all of her books available for purchase.
BACK COVER COPY FOR STARDUST:
Stardust is the story of a young mom whoâ€™s unfaithful husband drowns in the bayou of East Texas in 1952. Shortly after she buries him, Georgia Payton inherits the derelict Stardust Tourist Court from a distant relative. Faced with opposition from the aunt who raised her and others in the town, Georgia breathes new life into the cottages.
The guests who arrive, though, arenâ€™t what Georgia expects: her gin-loving mother-in-law; her dead husband's mistress; an attractive drifter who's tired of the endless road; and an aging Vaudeville entertainer with a disturbing link to Georgia's past. Dreams of a new life are crippled amid the havoc.
Woven throughout is the presence of polio, both as a fearsome possibility and a stark reality for some. When polio strikes close to home, Georgia's only hope is that she can find the courage to forgive those who've betrayed her, the grace to shelter those who need her, and the moxie to face the future. One thing is certain: under the flickering neon of the STARDUST, none of their lives will ever be the same.
AUTHOR BIO (SHORTER):
Carla Stewartâ€™s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. Carla launched her writing career in 2002 when she earned the coveted honor of being invited to attend Guidepost's Writers Workshop in Rye, New York. Since then, her articles have appeared in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and other regional magazines and anthologies.
With deep roots in the Panhandle, Stewart grew up at the Sher-Han plant north of Gruver and graduated from Gruver High School. She has a nursing degree from the University of Oklahoma. She and her husband have four grown sons and six grandchildren.
An award-winning novelist, Stewart has four current books on the market. Her debut novel, Chasing Lilacs, released in 2010 and received a starred review in Publisherâ€™s Weekly. It was the OWFI trophy winner for Best Book of Fiction in 2011, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, and finalist for RWAâ€™s Inspirational Readerâ€™s Choice Award. Broken Wings was an Oklahoma Book Award finalist and won the Inspirational Readerâ€™s Choice Award for Womenâ€™s Fiction. Stardust was also an Oklahoma Book Award finalist and was recently short-listed for the INSPY Awards.
Her newest novel, Sweet Dreams, released in May of this year. Stewart loves connecting with readers and participating in book club discussions. You can learn more about Carla and her books at www.carlastewart.com.