In Conversation with Sarah Nicole Smetana & ANGELO SURMELIS 

Farrah Penn presents 12 Steps to Normal: when your parent is an alcoholic, normal life isn't a thing. But there are ways to redefine what normal—and happiness—really are.


Eight months ago, Kira's father was sent to rehab for alcoholism and she was forced to move in with her aunt across the country. She left behind everything: the life she'd known and loved. 

Now her father's done with rehab and wants her back home. But the normal life she once knew proves elusive—her friends are distant, one of them is dating her ex, and her dad brought home three strangers from rehab to live with them.

Farrah Penn was born and raised in a suburb in Texas that’s far from the big city, but close enough to Whataburger. She now resides in Los Angeles, CA with her gremlin dog and succulents. When she’s not writing books, she can be found writing things for BuzzFeed and sending texts that contain too many emojis. 12 STEPS TO NORMAL is her first novel.

Sarah Nicole Smetana received her BFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University and her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, where The Midnights won the chapbook contest in fiction. Originally from Southern California, she now lives in Brooklyn.

Angelo Surmelis was raised in Greece until he immigrated to Illinois at the age of five. He currently lives in Los Angeles. An award-winning interior and product designer, Surmelis has been featured on over fifty television shows, including the Today show and Extra, as well as in magazines such as InStyle, TV Guide, and Entertainment Weekly. He has worked as a host on networks like HGTV, TLC, and Lifetime, and sold his home goods product line on QVC for several seasons. His debut YA novel, The Dangerous Art of Blending In, was labeled an important read for LGBTQ youth by Teen Vogue, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Buzzfeed, the book was also chosen as an Indie Next Book for 2018. Angelo can be found online at

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