Leslie Rivers, a professor emerita from the theatre department, recently won a National Indies Excellence Award for her novel “Fiery Star: The Journals of Emma Rose Lightfoot.”
Rivers won the top prize in the regional fiction west category. She also was a finalist in the historical fiction category.
The novel is about a character named Emma Lightfoot, who convinces a traveling theater troupe to take her on as a laundress. When a series of fires destroys the towns the small theater company plays in, people suspect the culprit is actor Edwin Booth, brother to the infamous John Wilkes Booth.
Rivers launched the book, which was published by her company Sierra Muses Press, in October. She received National Indie Excellence Award, a contest that recognizes works self-published or published by independent presses. “Fiery Star” is her first novel.
Winners and finalists are judged on “superior written matter coupled with excellent presentation in every facet of the final published product,” according to a news release.
Rivers taught acting and directed productions at Cal Poly Pomona from 1979 to 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree in dramatic art from UC Davis and her Master of Fine Arts in acting from Stanford University. She founded Sierra Muses Writers’ Workshop and Sierra Muses Press.
Visit her website to learn more about her novel.