Marcia Sterling

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Marcia Kemp Sterling’s One Summer in Arkansas borrows from the author’s own experiences to create a powerful debut novel.

TROY NY – November 20, 2012 – In Marcia Kemp Sterling’s debut novel, One Summer in Arkansas, a young Stanford Law School graduate is perched on the edge of a fast-track career in the booming Silicon Valley. But fate steps in when he lands a temporary gig back home, defending the city of Riverton in a wrongful death suit filed by a black youth’s family following his mysterious drowning in a local park.

Like her protagonist, Sterling grew up in “The Land of Opportunity,” spending her halcyon days in Texarkana, Ark., before heading west and launching her own career in law just as the dot-com bubble was building.

Within a few years, Sterling was a power player, specializing in business law; domestic and international corporate acquisitions; and public offerings as a partner with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, Calif.

She later moved into management as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Autodesk Inc., the publicly traded software giant based in San Rafael, Calif.

But Sterling, a former newspaper reporter and high school teacher who has three degrees including a Masters in French Literature from Ohio State University, had to cut her law career short when she was sidelined by Spasmodic Dysphonia, a genetic neurological condition which affects her speech center.

She decided to use elements from her own life story to build the world of Lee Addison, because despite her considerable setbacks, she says, “I wasn’t quite ready to quit being heard.”

Sterling’s story of writing One Summer in Arkansas is as compelling as the novel itself. She understands Lee Addison’s struggles with culture, with family and career on a deep, personal level.

One Summer in Arkansas is where Southern Gothic and Silicon Valley meet, and Marcia Kemp Sterling is there when they join hands.

To arrange an interview with the author, or to request a review copy, contact Nicole Riley at New Shelves Distribution –, (518) 261-1300.


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