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Iowa Author Series

The Iowa Author Series is an online presentation featuring an Iowa author sharing their personal story about the work they’ve published and their writing journey. The series will be hosted on Zoom and a portion of each presentation is dedicated to live audience Q&A. The series is FREE thanks to our sponsors. Advanced registration is required.

Sean Adams  |  Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. CST  |  Register Here

Standing nearly five hundred stories tall, Los Verticalés once bustled with life and excitement. Now this marvel of modern architecture and nontraditional urban planning has collapsed into a pile of rubble known as the Heap.

In exchange for a small living stipend, a vast community of Dig Hands removes debris, trash, and bodies from the building’s mountainous remains. Among them is Orville Anders, who burrows into the bowels of the Heap to find his brother Bernard, the beloved radio DJ of Los Verticalés, who is alive and miraculously broadcasting somewhere under the massive rubble—the only known survivor of the imploded city. Orville speaks to his brother every evening, calling into his radio show.

The brothers’ conversations are a ratings bonanza, and the station’s parent company, Sundial Media, wants to boost its profits by having Orville slyly drop brand names into his nightly talks with Bernard. When Orville refuses, his access to Bernard is suddenly cut off, but strangely he continues to hear his own voice over the airwaves, casually shilling products as “he” converses with Bernard.

What follows is an imaginative and darkly hilarious story of conspiracy, revenge, and the strange life and death of Los Verticalés that captures the wonderful weirdness of community and the bonds that tie us together.

“The Heap” was released in January and is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. It was featured on recommended reading lists by the New York Times, New York Post, Library Journal, Thrillist, Locus and USA Today. NPR called it “The first great science fiction novel of 2020.”

Author Sean Adams is a graduate of Bennington College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His fiction has appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Normal School, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Arkansas International, and elsewhere. He lives in Des Moines with his wife, Emma, and their various pets.

Past Presentation: Jackie Haley

“Brenda’s Wish: A True Story of Faith, Family and the Testament of Love” is a unique story of Brenda Schmitz, a cancer-stricken wife and mother who, with only a few precious months left, wrote a letter to a local radio station and asked a friend to deliver it when the time was right: when her husband David found a new wife to help raise their four boys. Two years later after Brenda passes away, David hears the words of his late wife for the first time and receives an incredible wish from the radio station.

Author Jackie Haley will take us on an emotional journey through the dramatic stage four cancer diagnosis, a mother’s determined fight, and inexplicable reaffirmations of love, guardianship and wonder from the afterlife. Haley will also share the writing process that she undertook to share this moving story.