Launch Day

Laura Stanfill, Stevan Allred, and Gigi Little stand beneath Stevan's name on the marquee at Powell's.

Laura Stanfill, Stevan Allred, and Gigi Little stand beneath Stevan’s name on the marquee at Powell’s.

It’s here! It’s here! Launch day. 

Stevan Allred’s A Simplified Map of the Real World is now available nationally through your local bookstore, Powell’sIndieBoundAmazonBarnes & Noble, and the Espresso Book Machine networkEbooks and paperbacks also available direct through publisher. Our big celebratory reading is slated for 7:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, in the Pearl Room at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, Portland, Oregon.

This is Stevan Allred’s debut collection about characters in Renata, Oregon, a fictional small town outside of Portland. Some of the earliest stories were written about a decade ago, and Forest Avenue Press has been working on producing this elegant, funny, heartbreaking collection for the past nine months, ever since Stevan submitted the manuscript and we read it, fell in love, and accepted it. Publisher Laura Stanfill, in her acceptance letter, wrote:

“You capture Renata–its landscape and all its oddballs, lonely souls and idjits–with such grace and a perfect mix of candidness and tenderness. I have a particular love for small-town stories, and here are fifteen interconnected beautiful ones–each with its own satisfying arc, contributing its own particular flavor, heartbreak, and humor to the portrait of a richly imagined community. The appearance of related characters, plus having some stories set in the past, contribute an oral history flavor. … The stories that are more loosely connected–by an incidental character or just by being set in Renata–add a fullness, a sort of honesty, to the whole collectionIt’s not just about one family, or several families, but peripheral people unconnected to those starring genealogies. In that way, it feels like a more evolved, comprehensive portrait of a world than collections that are interlinked through one character, or even one family. “

Graphic designer Gigi Little, author Stevan Allred, and publisher Laura Stanfill admire the Powell's display of A Simplified Map of the Real World in the green room.

Graphic designer Gigi Little, author Stevan Allred, and publisher Laura Stanfill admire the Powell’s display of A Simplified Map of the Real World in the green room.

We’ve received wonderful blurbs by Northwest writers, and rave reviews, and many wonderful people have signed up to interview Stevan, and we all so appreciate the support, the time, the care and consideration, for this special book and this beloved local author, who has worked so hard for so many years on his own work and in teaching others at the Pinewood Table with Joanna Rose.

We expect an overflow crowd tonight, due to the outpouring of support and love for Stevan, so we may run out of books, even though we’ll bring extras. Before and after the reading, the able staff at the Espresso Book Machine in the Purple Room (one floor down from the Pearl Room reading space), will be printing books on demand, and they’ll also have a stack ready-to-go and extra staff so you can buy right there from them and go right back upstairs for a signature. We love supporting the EBM, because that’s one way we can support a major local literary institution–and the books are excellent quality–so think about getting your own super-local copy right there. It’s also a green choice–avoiding the environmental costs of shipping.

Thank you to everyone for your support of Stevan and Forest Avenue Press, our Portland-based small press that publishes Oregon writers. If you can’t make it to Powell’s tonight, or don’t want to brave the crowds, or just love coming out to literary events, check out our calendar of upcoming appearances. We have readings at Annie Bloom’s, Broadway Books, Elliott Bay Book Company, Village Books, the Estacada Library, the Vancouver Library, and many more forthcoming.

Join the Main Street Writers Movement

Forest Avenue Press is the home of the Main Street Writers Movement, which launched Feb. 9. (Parades welcome.)
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  1. What an exciting day this is. Congratulations to Stevan and to you!

    • Gigi, you’ve been an integral part of this book, too, so congratulations back to you. You gave it its visual identity, helped puzzle out getting all the special pieces to fit, and have been there through every step of the process. I’m so incredibly grateful to you.

      • Congratulations to all three of you, I’d say!

        Have a great night tonight.

        By the way, I look forward to going back and reading all the reviews and interviews and so on, once I’ve finished reading the book (I’m old school that way).

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