Lyrics for Rock Stars: Stories

by Heather Mateus Sappenfield

About the Book

Lyrics for Rock Stars is a collection of seventeen stories―some historical, some contemporary—all set in the West. Involving skiers, ranchers, cyclists, suffragettes, tourists, super models, dead pigs, burro racers, religious beet farmers, immigrant miners, scorned lovers, penitent centenarians, and musicians, they are as varied as the region’s landscape. Some involve kids surviving the choices of the adults around them. Some involve those adults. Three of the stories are humorous. In one story, a fourteen-year-old girl’s sexual awakening takes form in a crush on an older cowboy as she starts to understand her parents’ rocky history. In another, an eight-year-old girl is forced to comfort her pregnant mother on the night her father has left for another woman. In the title story, a very pregnant gold-digger understands the error of her ways and, spurred by a meeting with a singing hippie, tries to start a new life. All of the stories explore how society’s values clash with our individual desires, and the ways we weave our lives through these opposing forces, often creating not of a lifeline, but a noose.

Where to Buy

Praise for Lyrics for Rock Stars: Stories

“Wow! Lyrics for Rock Stars is a rousing literary adventure set in a brilliant Colorado landscape. The western men and women in these stories ski, bicycle, race with donkeys, work on ranches, taunt bears, and run away in search of wild horses or a kind word. Sappenfield’s courageous children will bring you to tears as they work their way through the messes adults make for them. These vivid, muscular stories make me feel glad to be human.”

— Bonnie Jo Campbell, author Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, National Book Awards and National Book Critics Circle Finalist

Stepping into the stories in Lyrics for Rock Stars is like stepping into lives you already know, people you’ve lived with, or if you don’t know them already, you’ll wish you did. Writing about the inhabitants of landscapes she knows by heart, Sappenfield makes her people come alive on the page and you’ll turn each of those pages hoping for them, pulling for them, realizing, slowly, that their lives are our own.

—Pete Fromm, author A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do, Five-Time Winner of the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Award

An exploration of the inner lives of marriage and mountain towns, the stories in Lyrics for Rock Stars rise like the foothills to meet the peaks…Sappenfield knows the modern West.

   —Nicole Magistro, owner Bookworm of Edwards & 2015 judge for Kirkus Prize for Fiction

“[“Indian Prayer” is] finely observed…painstakingly crafted…Every element has been fitted in a way that rewards even an unpracticed eye turned to the hidden stitchery of fiction.

  — The Review Review 


V Press LC Compilation Book Prize
MPIBA “Reading the West Award” Nominee
AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award
IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Silver Metal Finalis

About the Author

Heather Mateus Sappenfield’s writing explores the adventures that fill life, often in the Rocky Mountain landscape that has been her lifelong home. She’s fascinated by the many selves each of us becomes in our varied roles throughout the day (some we like, some we do not), and her writing often delves into the internal adventure of juggling those multiple selves.