It’s fitting Jon Josten is holding the first book signing for his debut novel at the Brewery Arts Center.
Growing up in Carson City, Josten spent much of his youth at the Brewery Arts Center in after-school rehearsals and performances with the Proscenium Players and BAC-Stage Kids.
“It has a pretty amazing full-circle quality to it,” he said. “It seems right to have a book launch in that theater because it was so foundational to me. I’m looking forward to being back there.”
Josten, who graduated from Carson High School in 2006, now lives in Vancouver, Wash., with his wife and two children. He teaches drama and English to middle- and high-schoolers.
When people ask how long it took to write his first full-length novel, it’s hard to answer.
“If I say nine years, that feels somewhat misleading,” he said. “I took big chunks of time off for grad school and life events.”
But the story always remained.
“It was a story I kept retelling and have published out to the world,” he said. “But it was a story I wanted to do justice to, do it in a correct way rather than sending it out before it was done. I didn’t want to rush it.”
In his press release, Josten describes his novel as following “several characters through the gauntlet of small-town life, ultimately focusing on the broken places where we may become stronger.
“Penn Plumb enters his final year of high school, completing his final requirements and mending fractured relationships. Despite his outward success, he feels something lurking within himself.
“Over the course of the year, Penn’s understanding of his town, his girlfriend, and his family dramatically shifts when a tragic event occurs. Penn finds himself piecing his experience together one word at a time.”
So far, he’s received positive feedback from readers.
“A lot of the things I hoped readers would connect with, they’ve been connecting with,” he said.
It’s different when he writes or directs a play, which he started doing at the Wildhorse Children’s Theater, co-founded by his parents Dave and Pat Josten along with Jeffery and Carol Scott.
“With a play, the audience is right there,” he said. “You can listen to their laughter. You can see if they lean in, if the audience is into it. With the novel, it’s sent out then we wait to see the public’s reaction.”
The event will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesday at the Brewery Arts Center’s Expresso Yourself Cafe, 449 W. King St.
“It’s a time to connect with people and see them again, have that homecoming in a sense,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that aspect for sure.”
The book is available for purchase on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.
When people ask Josten, 31, what project is next, he replies, “I’m going to enjoy this one for now.”
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at email@example.com.