Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Anne author the subject of novel in 2015

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A first-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.

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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.

***

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 self-published 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.mb.ca.

***

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.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 4, 2014 A1

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Updated on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 9:14 AM CST: Tweaks formatting.

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