TRAVERSE CITY —
Her name is synonymous with fiction fantasy in the young adult world.
Now novelist Maggie Stiefvater hopes to broaden her audience with the first book in a new series called "The Raven Cycle."
"This is more complicated than previous works," said the New York Times bestselling author of "The Raven Boys," book one in the four-book series. "So far readers have said it's their favorite one of my books."
The novel launched Tuesday to advance praise from TIME Magazine (one of the "season's most anticipated reads"), Amazon Books (a "fall favorites" editors' selection) and IndieBound (an autumn Indies Next List kids' pick). Stiefvater said she aimed for a slightly older and more gender-balanced audience with the book, which follows her popular "Books of Faerie" series, "Wolves of Mercy Falls" or "Shiver" trilogy, and "The Scorpio Races," now being produced by Warner Brothers.
"Shiver," a supernatural Romeo and Juliet story, spent over 40 weeks on New York Times bestsellers lists.
"The 'Shiver' trilogy is very romantic, and romance appeals to women," said Stiefvater, 30, who pronounces her last name "Steve-Otter." "With 'The Raven Boys,' it's much more of an adventure story that just happens to have a little romance in it, so it's more universal."
The book introduces Richard "Dick" Gansey and his Raven Boys, the rich boys at prestigious Aglionby Academy. Gansey has family money, good looks and devoted friends but he's on a quest for more: Glendower, a vanished Welsh king. When Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic, crosses the boys' path, she remembers the prediction she's heard all her life: that if she kisses her true love, he will die.
Like her other works, "The Raven Boys" is grounded in mythology, said Stiefvater, who is already at work on its sequel.
"When I was a kid I used to love, 'The Dark is Rising.' It's a (five) book-long series based on Welsh mythology but set in the real world," said the Virginia-based writer, who was drawn to the magic that resulted from fusing the two. "And that's what I wanted to do with this series."
A voracious reader, Stiefvater said she always loved fiction fantasy and checked out every book stamped with a unicorn design — the designation for the genre at her hometown library — though there were "no real teen fantasies of that kind."
"The thing I've always loved is how universal it is," she said, noting that her books have been translated into 38 different languages. "I was surprised when I started getting letters from readers in the (Czech Republic), Lithuania and the Philippines. I didn't understand how a book by a young American author could resonate with them."
Stiefvater will talk about her work and unusual path to success on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the City Opera House. The National Writers Series event will feature a drawing for a guitar embellished by Stiefvater, also an artist and musician whose compositions grace her audio books.
"When I was a kid I thought I would be a soundtrack composer and an animator as well as a writer," said Stiefvater, who plays several instruments including the Celtic harp, the piano and the bagpipes, and is an award-winning colored pencil artist. "It's kind of a way of scratching that itch.
"I started doing (the guitar giveaways) a couple of books ago because the main character plays guitar. I love to draw and paint with Sharpies. I try to work in concepts from the books. This one is a 'Raven Boys guitar.' The drawing covers the entire guitar. It killed a lot of Sharpies," Stiefvater said.
Linda Smith, teen services coordinator for the Traverse Area District Library, said she ordered extra copies of "The Raven Boys" in anticipation of Stiefvater's local appearance. She expects adults to check them out, too.
"Adults are still pining for supernatural and they're still coming to teen services for that," said Smith, who "read" most of Stiefvater's books on iPhone and audio books. "A lot of adults listen to teen audio books. They're great car material."
For more information on Stiefvater's NWS appearance with guest host Lynn Rutan, a popular Bookends blogger and a reviewer of young adult books for Booklist, visit nationalwritersseries.org.
Maggie Stiefvater appears Sept. 27 at National Writers Series
TRAVERSE CITY —
Her name is synonymous with fiction fantasy in the young adult world.
Claudia Schmidt comes home to Sleder's
Claudia Schmidt will perform in an “On the Porch” concert at Sleder’s Family Tavern on Sunday, May 19.Continued ...
Couple's film focuses on Latin American coffee farmers
Have you ever taken a moment to consider where your morning cup of java comes from?Continued ...
Papa Roach is still swingin'
Papa Roach is still producing hit songs. It’s just getting harder and harder to get radio stations to play them.Continued ...
One-woman show helps gardens
Emily Dickinson, one of America’s earliest poets, died in 1886. She comes to life this weekend in the acclaimed one-woman play, “Belle of Amherst,” performed by professional actress Sinda Nichols.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 05/17/2013
Do the BBQ; Benzie Players; Garage sale. (Plus more)Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 05/17/2013
New this week — Star Trek Into Darkness: After the crew of the Enterprise finds an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.Continued ...
Night Life Calendar: 05/17/2013
What's going on after the sun goes down:Continued ...
- Friday, May 10, 2013
Grammy-nominated Goulding joins Traverse Orchestra
Grammy-nominated violin soloist Caroline Goulding, hailed by critics as a “precociously gifted virtuoso,” will play two of Ludwig van Beethoven’s greatest works this May 11 and 12 with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.Continued ...
City Opera House lineup announced
The City Opera House has a new season and a new five-year agreement with the Wharton Center for Performing Arts to go with it.Continued ...
Peter, Paul & Mary Remembered channels folk trio
Donna Wilson Probes was in high school when folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary were in their heyday.Continued ...
Beekeeper's wife keeps farm going after husband dies
Mandy Jelinek is committed to keeping her husband’s dream alive. Jelinek’s husband, Jeremy, died in an October vehicle crash in Blair Township.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 05/10/013
Dance concerts; Show in Leland; Celebrate morels. (Plus more)Continued ...
Family Reunion plays at Sleder’s Tavern
It’s a Family Reunion at Sleder’s Family Tavern on Sunday. The group, featuring mother-daughter duo Mary Anne and Elizabeth Rivers with old friends Pat Niemisto and Norm Wheeler, will appear in a special Mother’s Day concert on the porch starting at 4 p.m.Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 05/10/2013
New this week — Don’t Stop Believin’ Everyman’s Journey: A documentary on Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the new singer for the rock and roll band, Journey.Continued ...
Night Life Calendar: 05/10/2013
What's going on after dark:Continued ...
Two new exhibits at History Center
The History Center of Traverse City has opened two new exhibits, “Traverse History From Above” featuring aerial photos from the 1920’s through the 1970s and "The Grand Traverse Region: Vibrant Reinvention" offering a sweeping review of the area's history.Continued ...
- Saturday, May 4, 2013
Dixieland Jam today at TC Elks Lodge
The Cherryland Jazz Society presents “Dixieland Jam” today at the Traverse City Elks Lodge.Continued ...
- Friday, May 3, 2013
Fortuna tours with cast of ‘Catch Me If You Can’
Dominic Fortuna has been waiting all of his life to play a role like Frank Abagnale, Sr.Continued ...
Interlochen closes theater season with 'Miss Saigon'
Longtime Interlochen Arts Academy theater instructor and director Robin Ellis likes challenges for herself and her students.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 05/03/2013
Small Works sale; Downtown Art Walk; Sweet Adelines. (Plus more)Continued ...
Rotary show lampoons hot-button issues
Audiences never quite know what to expect at Traverse City’s annual Rotary Show — and neither do its producers.Continued ...
Arts & Entertainment in Brief: 05/03/2013
Exhibit opens; Chocolate fest; Meet the author. (Plus more)Continued ...
Jack Williams coming to Sleder's
Sleder’s Family Tavern presents Jack Williams in concert Sunday, May 5, at 4 p.m.Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 05/03/2013
New this week — 5 Broken Cameras: A documentary on a Palestinian farmer’s chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army. Not rated. (ST)Continued ...
Folk band Paper Bird lands at Good Work Collective
Paper Bird has taken wing since its formation six years ago. The Denver-based indie folk band — a household name across Colorado — is starting to catch on nationally thanks to relentless touring, a segment on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a sound that is alternately described as joyful and haunting, vintage and timeless.Continued ...
- Claudia Schmidt comes home to Sleder's