Anne au­thor the sub­ject of novel in 2015

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - BOOKS - By Bob Arm­strong

AFIRST-TIME Cana­dian nov­el­ist is hop­ing that Lucy Maud Mont­gomery is as in­trigu­ing a char­ac­ter as that red-headed or­phan girl. Me­lanie Fish­bane has been com­mis­sioned to write a young adult novel for Pen­guin Canada based on the teen years of the cre­ator of Anne of Green Gables. The book, sched­uled for pub­li­ca­tion in 2015, will ex­plore the “dizzy­ing, ro­man­tic highs and ag­o­niz­ing lows of find­ing one’s place in the world,” ac­cord­ing to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Mont­gomery fam­ily af­ter the idea of the novel was hatched dur­ing a lunch with Pen­guin ed­i­tors. A Van­cou­ver pub­lish­ing house with a long record of pub­lish­ing gay and les­bian ti­tles hit the jack­pot in 2012 by ac­quir­ing the world­wide English-lan­guage rights to the graphic novel Blue is the Warm­est Colour. In an in­ter­view with the trade mag­a­zine Quill & Quire, Brian Lam of Arse­nal Pulp Press said he bought the English rights in 2012 with­out even know­ing that a film ver­sion was in the works. The les­bian-love film went on to win the Cannes Palme d’Or and pick up a Golden Globe nom­i­na­tion, stim­u­lat­ing sales for the graphic novel. Now the Van­cou­ver publisher is look­ing for another hit with Skan­dalon, the fol­lowup graphic novel by French writer and artist Julie Maroh, to be re­leased next fall. Trav­ellers to the Nether­lands in­vari­ably dis­cover that Dutch peo­ple have a pow­er­ful affin­ity for bikes. For­mer Win­nipeg­ger Colleen Geske, a Univer­sity of Manitoba com­merce grad­u­ate who lives in Hol­land and works as a com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­tant, com­bines that ob­ser­va­tion with oth­ers from her years in the low-ly­ing land in her self­pub­lished book Stuff Dutch Peo­ple Like. Patterned af­ter the well-known web­site and book Stuff White Peo­ple Like, Geske’s book con­tains short mini-es­says on bikes, tulips, Ger­man jokes, the colour orange and other as­pects of life in her adopted coun­try. Geske re­turns to Winnipeg for a book launch Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son Book­sellers. The new year has barely be­gun and Ari­anna Huff­in­g­ton, founder of the In­ter­net news or­gan Huff­in­g­ton Post, al­ready looks like a lock for the worst book ti­tle of 2014 award. Crown Books will pub­lish Huff­in­g­ton’s 13th book this March, Thrive: The Third Met­ric to Redefin­ing Suc­cess and Cre­at­ing a Life of Well-Be­ing. Ap­par­ently, How to Make a For­tune by Con­vinc­ing Peo­ple to Write for You for Free didn’t do too well in the fo­cus groups. If “pub­lish that book” is at the top of your list of New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, the first Manitoba Writ­ers’ Guild workshop of the year may help to get you started. The guild is putting on a workshop on self-pub­lish­ing Jan. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m., fea­tur­ing self-pub­lished au­thor MaryAnne Ap­pleby ( Win­nie the Bear) and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Friesens print­ing and McNally Robin­son Book­sellers, who can dis­cuss a few ser­vices to help writ­ers get their words in print. The ses­sion takes place in room 218 of the Artspace Build­ing (100 Arthur St.) and costs $35 for non-mem­bers. For in­for­ma­tion or reg­is­tra­tion see mb­writer. The rugged beauty of the lakes and forests of North­ern Manitoba pro­vides a set­ting for a new novel by Cal­gary writer Kim McCul­lough. McCul­lough, who lived for a time in The Pas in her youth, tells a story of two friends whose lives are haunted by vi­o­lence and fam­ily mem­o­ries. She launches her novel Clear­wa­ter at McNally Robin­son on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.

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