I had a great chat with Rege Behe from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about Sophie Quire and the power of stories–including this bit about the inspiration behind the whole book:
Jonathan Auxier’s mother, Doris Hutton, was raised on a wheat farm in a remote part of North Dakota. Hutton grew up in a strict and hard-working Catholic family where books and education were not the top priorities.
Somehow, Hutton became an avid reader, even though she had limited access to books and no one with whom to share her love of reading. By the time she was 15, she had read every book in the area’s tiny library.
There was literally nothing left for her to read.
“Every time she would tell me about that, I would always add a ‘what if’ to it,” says Auxier, the author the new young-adult novel “Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard” (Amulet Books, $18.95). “I literally imagined, what if she found one last book and if it was more than just a story.
This book marks the culmination of 2.5 years of difficult work on a story that I genuinely feared would never see the light of day. And now that it’s about to go out into the world, it feels like a good time to celebrate! Please join us for the Sophie Quire Launch Party at Classic Lines Bookstore in Squirrel Hill. Sunday, April 3, from 3-5pm. Everyone’s invited–please spread the word!
For more information, check out the Facebook Event Page.
Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard doesn’t hit stores until next month, but the book has brought in some nice STARRED reviews …
From Kirkus: “This novel should be in the hands of every human young enough at heart to be enchanted by the written word.”
From School Library Journal: “So intense readers may need to take a breath as they turn the pages.”
From Booklist: “This affecting, compelling story stands on its own, embodying and highlighting the power and impact of tales well told—and why they endure.”
And from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books: “With Auxier’s exceptional character development, even minor characters display vulnerability, interesting quirks, and depth.”
Four starred reviews, people! Now doesn’t that make you want to run out and preorder the book?!
Only two more months until Sophie Quire is out in the world! Already, advanced readers copies (ARCs) are being given out at various conferences. If you’re keen to get one for yourself–check out our Goodreads Giveaway.
In the meantime, here’s the full wraparound art for the book, drawn by the brilliant Gilbert Ford! Click the image for a bigger view…
This week I finished the last of the illustrations for Sophie Quire — 45 drawings in all! Here are a few of my favorites; light spoilers ahead …
The Bookmender of Bustleburgh
Hello pilgrims! Just posting a note that I’ll be at the American Association of School Librarians conference this weekend (Nov 6-7) with freshly printed arcs of Sophie Quire & the Last Storyguard! I’ll be signing free books on Saturday at 11:30 (at the Authorpalooza event) and 5:30 (during the Meet & Greet). Supplies are limited, so if you want a book — come early!
I am delighted to announce that after more than 4,000 hours of writing, Sophie Quire & the Last Storyguard is finished!
This book has been without question the most difficult challenge of my career. Two years is a lot of time for most writers, but for me it was a sprint that very nearly broke me. More than a few times, I considered abandoning the book altogether. But every time I got to that point, I thought of Sophie — mending books in a city that no longer read stories — and I knew I had to finish.
Sophie Quire is technically a companion to my first novel, Peter Nimble & his Fantastic Eyes — but it is also a standalone story with a different hero set in a different world. The combined books are in many ways an examination of what it means to live in a world that has lost its sense of enchantment. Peter Nimble and Sir Tode are a major part of the story … but it is not their story. The tone is darker and the stakes are much higher. Also, it has way more monsters! The book will come out Spring 2016.
I cannot wait to share this story with the world.