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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

L.K. Madigan

In 2009, L.K. Madigan’s first book, Flash Burnout, was published.

In late 2009, YALSA announced that Flash Burnout was a finalist for the 2010 William C. Morris Award. I interviewed her for the YALSA blog in early January 2010. Later that month, Flash Burnout was awarded the Morris Award.

Madigan’s second book, The Mermaid’s Mirror, was published in 2010. When Madigan was promoting The Mermaid’s Mirror, I met her at a signing and have an signed ARC.

In January 2011, L.K. Madigan announced that she had cancer. In February 2011, she died.

BoyNextDoor 683x1024 200x300 L.K. MadiganThis May, a new Madigan book was published: Project: Boy Next Door. It’s available in ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. As explained in the forward by Madigan’s husband, Neil Wolfson: “Why posthumously publish Lisa’s manuscripts? I want to honor all of Lisa’s hard work. . . . While it is true that each scene, sentence, and word will not have undergone the scrutiny of her revision, the stories as they are point down the road Lisa wished to travel.”

He further says, “if these stories lack the polish of [her earlier books,] it demonstrates the value of an editor and revision and critique partners.”

Rhonda Helms, author, editor, and friend of Madigan, assisted in the process of getting the book ready to publish and promoting the book. It is thanks to  Helms that I obtained a review copy of Project: Boy Next Door. In the Editor’s Note, Helms says, “I knew it would take a deft hand for me to do justice to Lisa’s story and stay true to her voice. Therefore, I kept my edits in this book as light as possible, for clarification, consistency, correcting errors and the like. It was a hard line to draw in a few places, since I wasn’t able to work with Lisa directly.”

I mention this now, here, for a couple reasons.

First, my review of Project: Boy Next Door will be posting later this week and I didn’t want to put all this backstory in that post. Confession: I haven’t read The Mermaid’s Mirror. It’s like the last chocolate chip cookie: once it’s eaten, there aren’t any left. And I didn’t want to read the last Madigan book. Silly, I know. Then I saw that Madigan had another book coming out, and it just made me so happy and sad at the same time. Happy to be getting a chance to fall into a book of hers once again; sad, because she isn’t here.

Second, because I wanted to link to some of the other bloggers and websites out there that are also taking about Madigan’s book. It’s hard to promote a book, and it’s terrific to see the community of readers and authors come together to do what Madigan cannot do herself. If I’ve missed a link to your post, please share it in the comments.

Link roundup:

I’m pointing out my interview with Madigan from January 2010, because it refers to Project: Boy Next Door: “In new writing, I’m working on another funny boy book. This one takes place the following school year at Blake’s high school, but is narrated by a different main character. This time the reader sees Blake from the point of view of someone else. I’m having a lot of fun writing it … I hope my editor likes it, too.

Diversity in YA: “We were part of the Feast of Awesome Debut 2009 group—and had been through so many highs and lows together as new authors. Lisa was always there to offer encouragement, commiseration, or a laugh. Losing her to cancer was devastating. Not only had we lost a companion, advocate and friend, we had lost Lisa’s stories—her unique voice, humor, and way of seeing the world. Imagine my surprise and happiness when a fellow deb, Rhonda Helms, said she had been approached by Lisa’s husband, Neil, to edit and publish Project: Boy Next Door. I began reading immediately, and laughed, and it was wonderful to be in Lisa’s story, to hear her voice once more. Below, fellow authors express their thoughts on Lisa, and how she and her books affected them.

RT Book Reviews: “Project: Boy Next Door, published posthumously, is a true gem in YA literature. Smart, heartfelt and with wonderful characterization, Madigan’s title, unmistakably, has all the makings of a great story. . . .  Additionally, readers will be touched by the backstory as the book appears to have been a true labor of love. Don’t miss out on this one!

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Misti says:

    I haven’t read my copy of The Joys of Love by Madeleine L’Engle for similar reasons — it’s the last one, and I just can’t bring myself to read my very last new L’Engle book.

  2. Elizabeth Burns says:

    i think this could be an entire post: not-reading for very good reasons!

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