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Local author returns to launch latest book

Teri Vance
tvance@nevadaappeal.com

By Teri Vance

tvance@nevadaappeal.com

Young-adult author Heidi Ayarbe is returning to her hometown to launch her latest novel “Compulsion,” about a teen battling an anxiety disorder.

“I’m so thrilled,” Ayarbe said. “I love Carson City. It’s the best place on the planet to have grown up. The people are super supportive.”

Ayarbe will be at Comma Coffee – a business featured in the book that is set in Carson City – from 3:30-7 p.m. today.

She will be signing books until 5 p.m., when she will give a talk. A live performance from local blue grass band Hick’ry Switch begins around 5:45.

Coffee and refreshments also will be served.

“It should be really fun,” Ayarbe said.

In her third novel, Ayarbe tells the story of a Carson City teen named Jake, who suffers from an anxiety disorder.

A soccer star obsessed with prime numbers, he convinces himself that if his team can win its third championship on a date made up of all prime numbers, he can finally be rid of his disorder, which he refers to as the “spiders” crawling into his head.

“He has to confront the reality when that doesn’t happen,” Ayarbe explained.

To give an accurate portrayal, she said, she conducted extensive research with experts, online forums and often consulted a friend who has obsessive compulsive disorder.

More than just tell a story, Ayarbe said, she wanted to bring attention to a disorder that often brings shame to the sufferer.

She said the launch is timely because May is Mental Health Month.

“I don’t think kids realize it’s as common as it is,” she said. “I hope they read this and say, ‘Hey, I can talk to somebody about this. It can be treated.'”

Ayarbe grew up in Carson City, attended the University of Nevada, Reno and has traveled the world. She now lives in Columbia with her husband and daughter.

She has three novels, “Freeze Frame,” “Compulsion” and “Compromised,” and is a 2009 recipient of the International Reading Association’s Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Award.

Two of the three were set in Carson City, while “Compromised,” is about teens on the run from Reno to Boise.

“I do it with love,” she said. “The setting itself can be a character. Carson City can only be Carson City. It’s such a nice place.”

While in Carson City, Ayarbe will be hosting a series of events through the Carson City Library Foundation.

A fundraiser for the library will be 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at B’Sghetti’s, a business also featured in the book.

A teacher workshop is planned for 3:30 p.m. May 24 at the Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St., where she will be sharing tips for getting students interested in writing.

WHAT: “Compulsion” book launch

WHEN: 3:30-7 p.m. today

WHERE: Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.

WHAT: Carson City Library Foundation fundraiser, with author Heidi Ayarbe

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. May 18

WHERE: B’Sghetti’s, 318 N. Carson St.

COST: Tickets are $20

WHAT: Teacher workshop, with author Heidi Ayarbe

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. May 24

WHERE: Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St.