“Summer is coming quickly – what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?”
Yup, that’s the question of the week. And I have to tell you, right now I’m most excited about a book I’m publishing. No, not a book I wrote. I used to write books, before I became a publisher. Now all I do is read, edit, polish, and publish other people’s books. But back to the book.
So, about seven years ago I’m sitting in writer’s group at the local college and this young, I mean really young, woman comes in and joins us. She reads her book. She’s young. It’s about vampires. We’re cool with that. We are, after all, mature about these things. But we are not mature about things like really young, well, girl-young, women writing better than us seasoned pros. And she did. She made us freaking care about vampires. And believe me, I NEVER cared about vampires. My oldest daughter is STILL trying to get me to read Twilight so I can “relate” to my granddaughter. Isn’t it enough that she has my genes? How much more relating must I do?
Anyway, somebody had to ask. So I did. “How old are you?” This KID, this vampire-writing KID, says, “You have to promise not to tell.” Always a good sign. She’s friggin’ 15! She LIED to get into college early and doesn’t want the college to find out. She’s one stupid year, almost to the day, older than my youngest who is still busy being a mall rat, a high school freshman, a cheerleader, and annoying at 14. (She has vastly improved with age). But boy, can this homeschooled-by-herself-at-her-own-request kid write. (So can my youngest but she prefers to be a circus performer. We all have our gifts).
So, fast forward. This kid is now graduating from college at 22 with a dual or triple major in Russian and some other stuff. She wants to be a diplomat. She has a blog on animal behaviors. She spends a great portion of the day talking Russian and even Facebooks in Russian. But she’s still writing odd little books. Which I am now publishing. So I start to pester her. Where are the vampires? Well, they’re on a brief hiatus while she finishes her degree. BUT, she has a tasty little fantasy she’ll give me.
After months of playing good mom/bad mom (Your school work is most important/Where the hell is my book?!?) she sent it to me last Sunday. I stayed up two nights in a row reading it. With bronchitis. Maybe pneumonia. I might even be dying. Taking all sorts of drugs that should knock me out, but, no, the thing that’s knocking me out is this book.
It’s a retelling of a Norwegian fairy tale, with a lot of British Isles stuff tossed in for good measure, and it’s incredible. Think about a current best-selling young author, you know who I mean, only make her literate as all get out. This thing is cross-over YA/adult magic. Toss in some magical realism, a talking animal, some faeries, and a strong dirty-hands princess. A wicked stepmother, some odd creatures, and a whole herd of cows. Yes, I said cows.
So that is The Black Bull by Aubra Penner, age 22. She’s promised me the Civil War era vampire piece by August. It’s going to be a great summer in Puddletown.
(And there are also rumors of werewolves coming in January)
If you want to follow Aubra, here’s her blog: http://uptheglasshill.blogspot.com/
You can also follow her on Twitter: @aubrapenner
And here’s the link for her Facebook author page. Go like her: Aubra Penner