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UCA PROFESSOR WRITES NOVEL, ‘THE LOST SON’

Stephanie Vanderslice

By Travis Gupton
Office of University Marketing and Communications

Stephanie Vanderslice, professor of creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas, has a new book set for release in 2022 called “The Lost Son.” 

The novel centers on the World War II era and is filled with suspense and drama, Vanderslice said. 

Vanderslice’s own family history, particularly her step great-grandmother, inspired the story.

She had married my great-grandfather in the ’40s,” Vanderslice said. “In the ’20s, she came to this country from Germany with her first husband and son, had another child, and then her first husband and the baby’s nurse kidnapped the baby and took him to Germany when he was just a few months old.”

Vanderslice gathered as much information from her family as possible, but she used her own writing acumen to complete the story. 

“Both of the main characters were dead by this time, and my grandmother did not have good details,” Vanderslice said. “So based on the little I knew, I made up the rest. It actually turns out somewhat differently than it did in real life, but that’s all I’ll say.”

Vanderslice said she hopes the story will keep readers on the edge of their seats. 

“[It’s] a story about what it means to search for something one’s whole life and what it means to find out you have been the one searched for,” Vanderslice said. “And what it means to really forgive, even when there are awful things to forgive.”

Regal House Publishing is publishing “The Lost Son.”

Vanderslice earned her bachelor’s at Connecticut College where she studied developmental psychology, English and creative writing. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing at George Mason University and a doctorate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She began her career at UCA in 1997. 

Her teaching specialties include fiction, creative nonfiction and teaching creative writing. A writing-life blogger for the Huffington Post, her numerous scholarly essays on the teaching of creative writing have been published nationally and internationally. She also has written several books. In 2009, she was named Arkansas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts (ACTELA) College English Teacher of the Year. In 2012, she was named Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) U.S. Professor of the Year for the state of Arkansas.