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Steven Rowley Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Lily and the Octopus (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Editor (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Guncle (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Steven Rowley
Author Steven Rowley has worked as a newspaper columnist, a freelance writer, and screenwriter. He is a graduate of Emerson College and is originally from Portland, Maine.

Six months after his dog died of cancer, he wrote what later became the first chapter of “Lily and the Octopus” as a short story to help process his grief. He never expected it would go anywhere, but just doing what other writers often do by putting his feelings down on the paper to get them out of his head and heart. He shared his story with his boyfriend, who encouraged him to continue writing.

When he chose to write it as a book, he removed his screenwriter’s cap and just jumped into the medium entirely, and it was fully freeing. Not once was he considering how expensive something would be to build, or how hard it would be to cast, or just impossible to film. His only limits were those imposed on him by his own imagination.

Writing “The Editor” was a much more research intensive novel than his first, as Steven took the responsibility of writing Jackie rather seriously. This meant reading biographies from her time in the publishing world, hearing from her coworkers and the writers that worked with her. He even read other books that she edited at the time the novel takes place to try and recreate her desk, and learn all about the subjects which interested her.

It took him more than a year to write the novel’s first draft and a number of drafts followed that to get the story and characters the way he wanted it.

For “The Guncle”, he was inspired from spending one week with his two nephews and documented their visit on his Instagram, and his editor called him out of the blue and asked if he thought there was anything to write about. And it got his wheels turning.

Steven’s debut novel, called “Lily and the Octopus”, was released in the year 2016, and has been published in nineteen languages. It was a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016 and “The Editor” was named by Esquire Magazine and NPR as one of the Best Books of 2019. His work is from the general fiction genre.

“Lily and the Octopus” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2016. this is a story about that special somebody: the one you trust, and the one that you cannot live without.

Ted Flask (who is single, gay, and a struggling writer) is stuck: unable to open himself up to intimacy except through the steadfast companionship of Lily, his old dachshund. When her health gets compromised, Ted vows to save her by any means possible.

By turns poignant and hilarious, this is an adventure with spins into magic realism and beautifully evoked truths of longing and loss, and it reminds us just how it feels to love fiercely, and how tough it can be to let go, and just how the fight for those that we love is the greatest battle of all.

This novel is startlingly imaginative and is a love story that is sure to assert itself within the canine lit pack. Readers should ready themselves for searing or silly moments and outright laughs from canine and human recognition.

“The Editor” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. A struggling writer that gets his big break, with just a little bit of help from the most famous woman in all of America.

James Smale, after many years of attempting to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, finally sells his novel to an editor at one of the major publishing houses: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie (or Mrs. Onassis, like she’s called around the office) has fell in love with James’ candidly autobiographical novel, one which exposes his own dysfunctional family. However when the novel’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel some already fragile relationships, both with his partner and inside his family, he discovers that he cannot bring himself to actually finish his manuscript.

James and Jackie develop quite an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to pen an authentic conclusion, encouraging him to go home in order to confront the truth on his relationship with his mom. Then one long-held family secret’s revealed, and he figures out that his editor might have had a bigger plan that extends farther than the page. A highly unique novel about a writer whose relationship with his very famous book editor is going to change him forever, both as a writer and as a son.

“The Guncle” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. Steven delivers a warm and deeply humorous book about a formerly famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his nephew and niece for an entire summer.

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved Grant and Maisie. Well, he enjoys spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for their week long visits, or when he goes back home to Connecticut for the holidays. However in terms of caretaking and relating to two kids, no matter adorable they may be, he is honestly a touch out of his league.

So when tragedy hits and Grant and Maisie lose their mom and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis, he finds himself all of a sudden taking on a role as primary guardian. Even though he’s got a set of “Guncle Rules” all set, he has got no clue of what to expect, having spent years of just barely holding on after losing his great love, a bit of a stalled career, and a lifestyle which isn’t so suited to a six and nine year old.

Soon realizing that parenting, even if it’s temporary, is not solved with jokes and treats, his eyes get opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization comes that, even being larger than life means you are unfailingly human sometimes.

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