CHARM & STRANGE news…

Yay, I am really happy to announce that CHARM & STRANGE is going to be published in the UK!

From today’s PM announcements:

Stephanie Kuehn’s CHARM & STRANGE, about a sixteen-year-old boy stuck at a Vermont boarding school who’s convinced his destiny is to transform into a violent wolf, just like his father before him, and who has perfected the art of shutting people out until the truth of who he really is comes to light as he forms an unexpected friendship with a young woman with her own troubled past, to Ali Dougal at Egmont, by Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Lauren Abramo at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

It still feels sort of overwhelming, but the response and enthusiasm from everyone at Egmont UK has been amazing. I am so excited to be working with them and beyond ecstatic that my quirky (quarky?) little book will be able to find readers both near and far.

Many, many thanks to Lauren Abramo, Caspian Dennis, and Michael Bourret for making this all possible.

The learning curve of grief

Where do we learn how to grieve? That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. I know we learn about grief through loss. But the how part, I’m still not sure. Do we learn from our family and friends? From what we see on tv or read about in books?

Once upon a time, my Will and I got married in the middle of the California wine country. The sun was hot. The hills were golden. We were surrounded by loved ones. A few days after the ceremony we flew down to San Jose del Cabo to spend our honeymoon at a rustic inn that was truly off the beaten path. We had to rent a roll bar Jeep because getting there involved four-wheeling across a dry arroyo bed and shuddering up into the dusty foothills on the outskirts of town. We were the inn’s only guests.

One of our first mornings in Mexico, I woke with the sunrise, laced up my running shoes, and headed down the empty riverbed with the innkeeper’s four dogs tagging along for company. A mile or so into our run, the dog pack suddenly bolted. They sprinted past me, barking like mad and honed in on something hidden in a tangle of overgrown bushes. Then came a terrible squeal. I ran faster. I thought the dogs had pinned a rabbit, but when I got there, I found them tearing at a tiny puppy. So I did what everyone would do: I shooed the dogs off, picked the puppy up, and took him home with me. All the way back to California! Will and I named him Milagro. We call him Milo. Our honeymoon surprise.

Almost 13 years, 4 moves, and 3 children later, Milo has become an old man dog. Well, he’s been old for a while now. He has arthritis and thyroid problems. Cataracts, too. But lately he’s gotten even slower. It’s harder for him to eat and drink. He still loves lying in the sun and having his ears stroked, but his own sunset is near. We know this.

Our children are lucky. They haven’t lost anyone close to them. Yes, death has touched their worlda playmate’s mother, my friend’s dear baby, a great grandmother I wish they’d known betterbut they haven’t yet lost a person that they loved and who loved them back. So Milo, in his doggy passing, will be their first painful loss. It will also be practice for greater losses to come. Although that’s knowledge I havethey don’tso it feels sad to qualify or reduce their loss just because Milo isn’t a person. Milo’s a person to them, even though he’s an animal too.

KICX0655

Good dog, Milo.

Of thanks and nothing bears…

IMAG0543

My youngest child refers to clear-colored gummi bears as nothing bears. Nothing bears are his favorite, and to be offered one (as pictured above) is a gesture of true friendship and goodwill.

It’s in that same spirit that I want to say thank you to everyone who has offered their congratulations over the past few days regarding my book news. All of your kind words—here, in real life, on twitter, facebook, YA Highway, etc—well, those words have overwhelmed me. Seriously, guys, your kindness and support means so much. Gah, I’m getting sappy, aren’t I? I think I’m going to quit while I’m ahead.

Nothing bears for everyone!
-Steph

The good (really good) kind of news…

Oh, wow, I’ve been both bursting with excitement and filled with anxiety in anticipation of getting to share the news that my debut YA novel has sold! Here are the details from Publishers Marketplace:
         

Stephanie Kuehn’s CHARM & STRANGE, about a sixteen-year-old boy stuck at a remote Vermont boarding school who’s convinced his destiny is to transform into a violent wolf, just like his father before him, and who has perfected the art of shutting people out — until the truth of who he really is comes to light as he forms an unexpected friendship with a young woman with her own troubled past, to Sara Goodman at St. Martin’s, by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (NA).

I could not be happier about getting to put this book out into the world. This isn’t the first novel I’ve written (or the second, or the third…), but it’s the one I’ve felt closest to, right from the start. And while I know the journey I’m on is only just beginning, already I’ve been humbled by every person along the way who has believed in this story and pushed me to make it stronger. I’m also incredibly thankful to Michael Bourret, who truly made this all happen.
More info to come soon!
-Steph