Kennesaw State University professor explodes onto national literary scene

Jeff Stepakoff.jpg

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 9, 2012) — Like the pyrotechnics in his debut novel, “Fireworks…

Georgia (Feb 9, 2012)

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 9, 2012) — Like the pyrotechnics in his debut novel, “Fireworks Over Toccoa,” Kennesaw State University Professor Jeffrey Stepakoff has exploded onto the national literary scene, recently being named an “exciting new author” by Reader’s Digest.

Stepakoff’s sophomore offering, “The Orchard,” is included as the lead title in Reader’s Digest’s latest edition of “Select Editions,” an anthology of four of today’s best fiction novels, carefully chosen from bestselling authors as well as rising new stars.

Reader’s Digest selects only 24 books a year to condense for its long-running series “Select Editions.” Other titles included in Vol. 318 of “Select Editions” are Lee Child’s No. 1 New York Times Bestseller “Worth Dying For,” Barbara O’Neal’s “How to Bake a Perfect Life” and David Rosenfelt’s “On Borrowed Time.”

Some of the other authors Reader’s Digest has also recently published in “Select Editions” include James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Jeanette Walls, Richard Paul Evans, Michael Connelly, Fannie Flagg, David Baldacci and Nelson DeMille.

“It’s thrilling to be included in this kind of company,” said Stepakoff, an assistant professor of film & TV writing. “These are literally some of the world’s biggest authors. I was surprised and humbled to get the call they wanted to include 'The Orchard’ in ‘Select Editions.’”

Reader’s Digest is the best-selling monthly magazine in the world. It ispublished in 52 editions and 35 languages and is available in more than 100 countries.The magazine's worldwide circulation including all editions has reached 17 million copies and 70 million readers.

This year, Reader’s Digest is also publishing “The Orchard” in a variety of forms in various foreign languages and territories, including Brazil, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, all Spanish-speaking countries and Russia.

Meanwhile, the paperback edition of Stepakoff’s “Fireworks Over Toccoa” was released last year and featured in Walmart, Sam's Club and more than 70 airports across the country. “Fireworks” is now widely released in France, Germany, Turkey and Italy.

By the end of this year, there will be more than half a million copies of Stepakoff’s books published in 14 languages.


By Jennifer Hafer


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 24,100 students from 142 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit