These initial reviews for NAMING THE STARS suggest you read the book for yourself for a satisfying and interesting read.
“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
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.
Three 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.
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 events!
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!
I am thrilled to announce that I have signed with Curiosity Quills Press, as announced in Publisher’s Marketplace on Monday, September 21.
Susan Koefod’s NAMING THE STARS, in which a teen girl 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, to Kathleen Kubasiak at Curiosity Quills Press for publication in Summer 2016 (world).
This was the book I began writing in San Francisco during my McKnight Artists Fellowship year. The idea came to me on the flight there—I’d originally planned to write another novel, and during my first days there, wrote parts of both, but NAMING THE STARS took over my imagination and my speedy fingers.
To now see it on its path to publication is amazing! This next year will be filled with much activity around my debut young adult novel. The team at Curiosity Quills is already proving to be phenomenal, so it’s going to be a great ride!
Anyone knows that along with acne, menstrual cycles, and teenage angst, your magical power emerges no later than your 16th birthday. That is, if you are anyone but Mae.
Mae will never have a magical power, which means an uncertain and dangerous future, given her potential inability to defend herself from the criminal use of magic by others.
While her friends and peers become seers, invisibles, flyers, and other magically transformed teens, Mae learns the secret her parents have been keeping from her since her birth: she is the only known unmagicked girl her world has ever seen.
So how does a private recruiter learn about her secret? And why does he want her for an exclusive school no one has ever heard of?
Confused feelings about a boy, whose extraordinary power enables him to “borrow” the magical abilities of others, make Mae even more stubborn, more determined to go it alone, an increasingly difficult plan considering she is an unmagicked girl in magical harm’s way.
That’s the idea behind my latest YA novel, The World’s Least Magical Girl (working title), which explores how being different can be the source of one’s greatest strength. I’m working on it while my unsold novel, Naming the Stars, looks for a home.
Like each novel I’ve written, this latest novel is a new challenge. I want each book to be better than the last, and stretch me while I write it. I think The World’s Least Magical Girl is doing that!
That’s the premise of my novel-in-progress, Naming the Stars.
In Naming the Stars, 16-year-old Mary-Louise 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 boy she calls Fish, a YMCA swimming instructor, but Fish is hiding from a troubled past and the person he sees is entirely different from who she thought she was.
What if everyone acted as if you didn’t exist?
With dreamlike realism and with a dash of cosmology, this coming-of-age story explores the important and often fragile connection between the roles we play in others’ lives—as siblings, children, friends, and partners—and the unique identity we must find in ourselves.
Coming someday soon (I HOPE!) to book places everywhere.