Book Launch at Frontier Homestead for Professor’s New Novel

Published: August 23, 2021 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU Professor Rosalyn EvesAssistant professor of English Rosalyn Eves is the author of four young adult novels including the historical fantasy series, The Blood Rose Rebellion, and Beyond the Mapped Stars, a new historical fiction novel that will be released on August 24, 2021. Everyone in and beyond the Cedar City community is invited to come celebrate the launch of Beyond the Mapped Stars August 24, 2021 at Frontier Homestead State Park.

“I first got the idea for Beyond the Mapped Stars about four years ago, listening to David Barron talk on NPR about his new book, The American Eclipse, about the 1878 eclipse and all the scientists who went West to study the eclipse,” said Professor Eves. “It made me wonder about the unnamed people who participated in the eclipse, including Native Americans and pioneer settlers already living in the West.”

Set around the 1878 American eclipse, Beyond the Mapped Stars integrates astronomy and the early Mormon church in a coming-of-age story. This novel is about a young Mormon woman who dreams of being an astronomer, but finds her dreams in conflict with the expectations of her family and community.

“I realized I wanted to write books in 5th grade--though it took me nearly thirty years to publish my first book after that!” said Professor Eves. “I think anyone wanting to publish should read a lot and write a lot--and be patient with the process. It can take a while to improve your craft to the point where you can/should publish it, and you're not competing with anyone but yourself (even if sometimes it feels like you should). Find people who support your writing--it can be a long and sometimes lonely process, and you need people on your side to cheer you on. You also need readers who can help you improve your writing by giving you real feedback, not just telling you what you want to hear.”

Beyond the Mapped StarsThe main character of Beyond the Mapped Stars is loosely based on Professor Eves’ great-great grandmother, who was 18 during the summer of the great American eclipse and living in Monroe, Utah. Eves took her family history and the prime location of the intermountain West in stride to conduct research for her novel. She and her family explored many of the real-life locations in the novel in Cedar City, Utah and in Denver, Colorado to develop and learn about the novel’s location.

“Most of my novels start with a basic story idea, and then I build up the characters, and do enough research to be able to visualize the world before I start writing,” said Professor Eves. “This one was unusual in that it started out very much as an adventure/thriller with a railway heist and a villain, and when my editor read it, she asked, ‘What would happen if we got rid of the villain and the inciting incident?’ She realized that I was really trying to tell a character-driven story, and she was right. The book was a lot better after I took out the villain, though it meant rewriting more than 80% of the book.”

The book launch party will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Cedar City’s Frontier Homestead State Park on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. Frontier Homestead State Park is an immersive, interactive state park about early pioneer life in Iron County. In addition to book-themed activities, prizes, and cotton candy from Soda Nerd, Professor Eves will be signing books.

For more information or to purchase Beyond the Mapped Stars, visit Thriftbooks or the SUU Bookstore after the August 24 release date.

Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences English

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