Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES–Eastern New Mexico University assistant professor of English Stefan Kiesbye will read from his second novel, "Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone," at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, in Golden Library on the Portales campus.
The novel was a Top 10 pick in the October issue of Oprah Magazine.
There will be refreshments and a story-hour for children in a nearby room.
The event is free and open to the public.
"Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone" tells the story of four adolescents who live in a village on the Devil's Moor and encounter dark secrets.
The first English novel he wrote was "Next Door Lived a Girl," about a gang of five adolescent boys in Northern Germany that find a mentally challenged young girl and try to take care of her, but end up putting their own lives in danger.
"A lot of teenagers are interested in reading dark things, maybe because of the mundane world of everyday life," said the creative writer.
At www.stefankiesbye.com, he explains his books in detail.
"Teaching is what we are trained to do, outside of writing, because writing doesn't always pay the bills," said the author with a laugh.
Kiesbye first came to the United States on a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Program. He intended on staying one year at the State University of New York in Buffalo, N.Y., but decided to get his master's in American Studies.
His English professor and poet, Irving Feldman, influenced him by making him curious about creative writing. Kiesbye then attended the University of Michigan where he received his Master's of Fine Arts in creative writing.
"The best advice I can give is to find out what you're interested in by writing a lot and learning through trial and error," said the English professor.
He moved from Long Beach, Calif., and is enjoying his time at ENMU teaching creative writing.
"I love it; I've been able to meet a lot of fun people," said the assistant professor.
This semester, he is teaching two composition courses and a creative non-fiction writing course.
"It's exciting to find new writers and students that get into writing and later turn into serious writers," said Kiesbye.
Before coming to the United States, he participated in a morning radio program from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. where he interviewed guests from the entertainment industry.
Also, he received his undergraduate degree at a university in Germany.
The German native has been in the United States for 16 years. His wife, Sanaz, is an event coordinator for a California company.
They have two Chinook dogs, Dunkin and Nozomi, and he enjoys running with them. They have recently taken in Kurt, a Shepherd mix stray dog, and are trying to find him a home.
Portales is different from Long Beach because it is a very relaxed place where no cars try to run over pedestrians who are walking their dogs, said Kiesbye.
"I also love to travel. Once you start traveling, you find out the world isn't a scary place."
He would like to travel back to Japan and stay there a few months. "Traveling is a long-term project that never really stops," said Kiesbye.
Your House is on Fire, Your Children all Gone retails for $15 and is available in the ENMU Campus Bookstore (575.562.2715).
Kiesbye can be reached at 575.562.2329.