Debut novel should hit home for teen readers


An author with local ties will be at Once Upon a Time bookstore this weekend to sign and read from a new book he co-wrote, “Glitter Girl,” which tells the story of two girls who have been friends since preschool and now find their friendship at a crossroads.

Eighth-grade student Kat Connors serves as a main character in the book, a popular girl with a widely read blog on fashion and style. She faces a conflict when a cosmetic company called Glitter Girl approaches her, looking to feature their products on her blog.

With an opportunity to be the face of the company’s advertising campaign, Kat’s rise among the in-crowd and a decision she faces over who to invite to a slumber party featuring Glitter Girl products, create a conflict between her and her best friend, Jules, a girl who is more comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt and is a member of her school’s Shakespeare club.

“The dilemma is, when you get a little older, the people who used to be your friends aren’t into the same things,” said co-author Stephen Webb, a former Glendale resident who now lives in Eagle Rock. “What do you do when you realize you’re growing apart from friends you’ve had for a long time?”

He co-wrote the book with his writing partner, Toni Runkle. The two writers met while they studied at the USC film school and took on screenwriting before collaborating on “Glitter Girl,” their first book.

Publishers Weekly wrote that the authors’ debut is “a 21st-century take on the idea that ‘All that glitters is not gold.’”

Webb and Runkle both have daughters, and easily settled on writing about eighth-grade girls and what they face in their early teenage years.

“There’s a lot of challenges when you move from elementary to middle school,” Webb said.

For him, one message the book offers is, “It’s OK to be different from your friend, and still be her friend,” he said. “Hopefully girls who read the book get some insight on how to navigate those waters.”

Webb and Runkle will be at Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 2207 Honolulu Ave. in Montrose, at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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