Magical Story for YA Readers

These initial reviews for NAMING THE STARS suggest you read the book for yourself for a satisfying and interesting read.
Editorial Reviews
Magical story for young-adult readers.” — St. Paul Pioneer Press, September 25, 2016
NetGalley and GoodReads Praise
****”Great book for reluctant teen readers… that has captured their frustration and angst about life perfectly.” –Ann, NetGalley and GoodReads reviewer.
“After reading the synopsis I was excited to read this book. And I wasn’t disappointed. Good storyline, good character development, I loved this one.” — Tracee G, Reviewer, NetGalley
**** –Jantine K, NetGalley Reviewer
**** –Toni H, NetGalley Reviewer
**** –Sofia G, NetGalley Reviewer

Wine, Perfume, and Possibilities


Author photo by Andrew Amundsen

While Naming the Stars promotion (visits, signings, talks) is only beginning, can you see how relieved this author is  now that the book launch is over? It was well-attended and successful, thanks to the help of my publisher, my wonderful local bookstore, my local newspaper books editor, and my favorite nearby coffee cafe.

Yes, it takes a village to raise an author.

But you do start out in a little remote hut by yourself. That one idea that grew into a full-fledged novel that is now Naming the Stars is the culmination of many other pages and ideas not at all about this book. Random fits and starts litter my big hard drive folder labeled “Prose.” (There’s one for “Poetry” too.) Completed never published novels languish there. A lot of the work in my Prose folder will never see the light of day. But I frequently revisit documents not touched in years – at the moment one of my projects involves harvesting one chapter from an old novel and turning it into a short story.

irisThree to four unfinished novels have not been entirely abandoned. I keep thinking I will get back to them. I may not. Ever.

Two possible sequels to Naming the Stars are not found in the folder yet. I’m excited about an idea for the first sequel — an idea that formed while I was making the final preparations for the launch — preparations that involved a glass or two of white wine, and a spritz of Fragonard Iris perfume.

I’m at the idea stage, remembering what I wrote about while in San Francisco, striving hard to let my inner artist free. I’m rereading that post now, ready to set off on my next writing adventure. Undoubtedly this will require more wine and perfume, more dreaming and, as always, more writing.


Top Ten Ways To Survive a Book Launch

Full size coverOn the eve of NAMING THE STAR’s book birthday –  appropriately on Labor Day – here are the top 10 ways I plan to survive NAMING THE STARS launch tomorrow.

10) Exhale: the long process of publishing a book — everything that happened after signing the publishing contract, and the months of getting it all ready– is over.

9) Pat myself on the back, not just for sitting my butt down in the chair and writing hundreds of pages, but for all the years and years of starting and stopping projects, listening to others’ feedback, the disappointments, the self-loathing for not getting anything done. Also a pat on the back for members of the family who put up with all of the drama that comes with living with a writer.

8) Begone any remaining inner critical thoughts. It’s out there now, in the hands of readers. That is a very different place from where it was when it lived in my mind, then on my computer screen.

7) Take a hike any worries about how the world is going to react to the work. I have no control over readers’ minds and hearts. I plan on reading their reactions without reacting (as best as I can). “That’s interesting,” is as much as I plan on saying, even if a reviewer says – “THIS BOOK SUCKS”.

6) Take the next step. I did my darnedest to put my creative vision into words. But like any creative work, it’s just another step on my artistic journey. I want to take what I learned from this exercise, and then decide what my next experiment is.

5) Make no comparisons to what’s happening with any other writer’s book sales, rankings, and reviews. That’s their journey, not mine. Best of luck to everyone.

4) Say thanks to my editor and publisher and everyone at Curiosity Quills Press. Thank you for finding my book a home and living with me and my questions.

3) Say thanks wonderful world of the Twin Cities writing community – the multitude of venues for witnessing creativity and learning from it. There are so many of you who invited me to attend or read or publish me here. Hamline University’s MFA program. The Loft. The Saint Paul Almanac. Writers Reading at the University Club. You continue to nurture me.

2) Say thanks especially to the Loft-McKnight Fellowship Program. I have never stopped feeling like I’m on cloud 9, writing wise. You gave me such a boost and though the fellowship, I was encourage to experiment, take risks, and write the book that will be born tomorrow.

1) Celebrate! I’ve earned at least one five-star review, so I gave myself one on Goodreads. “That’s interesting,” wouldn’t you say?


Cover Reveal and Goodreads Giveaway

The day has finally arrived! Check out the fabulous cover to NAMING THE STARS, and be sure to add it to your “to-be-read” shelf. Oh, and a giveaway is coming Sept 1!  And, that’s not all. Preorders are available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, your favorite independent bookstore, or — come to see me at my eventscover reveal

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Naming the Stars by Susan Koefod

Naming the Stars

by Susan Koefod

Giveaway ends September 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Celebrate Artistic Creation: Upcoming Events

Book lovers take note of these forthcoming events (pasted below) where you can share your love with a hard-working author and enjoy the fruits of her creative labors. And have great coffee and snacks at a local West St. Paul coffee shop!

In other exciting news, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine has expressed interest in another of my mystery shorts! More news ahead on this, but I gotta tell you I’m thrilled that they will publish another of my short stories. In total, I’ll have placed THREE stories with the magazine Stephen King calls the “world’s best mystery magazine”. The magazine and its stories have won many, many prizes. Two other stories, “Boys will be Boys” from the February 2013 issue and “Open Ended”  from December 2015, made the cut. It’s such an honor and such validation to appear in Ellery Queen’s pages.

As always, keep on eye on my Events tab for additional events.

2016 Events

>Albert Park - In His Own Words

Albert Park – at Dodd and Smith

July 23, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM


Art on the Avenue 2016

At Smith and Dodd Avenue

Smith Avenue comes alive again this summer with art, live music, food, crafts, children and adult entertainment and more! Come see me and other artists and vendors on July 23th from 4 to 8PM. Fun will happen at Albert Park, Doddway Shopping Center, Dodd Park and Smith Avenue. More details of my exact location coming, but the area is very walkable. Park and come find me! All three Arvo Thorson mysteries - Burnt Out, Broken Down, and Washed Up - will be available for purchase.

September 17, 2 – 5 PM


Amore Coffee
Smith Avenue at Annapolis
St Paul, MN 55118

Come celebrate the launch of NAMING THE STARS, a young adult novel by Susan Koefod. Hosted by Subtext Books of St. Paul.

NAMING THE STARS is the story of a teen girl who comes home from swimming lessons one day to find she is absent from family photographs, her bedroom has turned into a linen closet, and all of her possessions have disappeared. More troubling, her family goes on as if she never existed. The only person in town who can actually see her is a teen boy with a troubled past and secrets he’s determined to keep.

Please be sure to purchase fine coffee, beverage, and food from Amore Coffee in support of this event. Books will be available for purchase by Subtext Books.

Book Launch Set, Poem Accepted, & Other Writer Stuff

I’m excited to announce that my book launch for Naming the Stars is set for Saturday, September 17 – from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, at Amore Coffee in West St. Paul. The event will be hosted by the fantastic Subtext Books. More events to be scheduled. As always, you can check my Events page for info.

A new poem is forthcoming in the 2017 Saint Paul Almanac. I have a few other pieces awaiting final word from the Almanac.

Importantly, I actually WROTE today, finishing a short story about a weather predication fail, father-son conflict, and a very strange fishing opener.

But it is time to put away digital screens and enjoy the summer day now. Waiting for raspberries and other summer bounty, dreaming of baking goodness ahead, like this yummy batch of raspberry ebelskivers from last summer.


Is there life after graduating with an English Degree?

Novelist Susan Koefod '81 speaking to students and faculty in Derham Hall. Photo by Michelle Mullowney.

Novelist Susan Koefod ’81 speaking to students and faculty in Derham Hall. Photo by Michelle Mullowney.

Yes. You can have a career, English grads.  That was the message at a recent event at St. Catherine University. It was an honor to be invited back and be among other accomplished professional women who found career homes in many places.

My thanks to Jill Jepson for the invite and to St. Catherine University for hosting!