Moonflower Publishing, a new independent publisher of commercial fiction, has acquired its first novel Blue Running by American author Lori Ann Stephens, a "timely and topical" novel that addresses issues of feminism, nationalism, racial injustice, immigration and gun ownership.
Christi Daugherty, publisher and founder, and Jack Jewers, managing director, acquired UK and territories English language rights and worldwide audio rights directly from the author. Publication is scheduled for 2nd December 2021.
Blue Running is billed as a "gripping coming-of-age thriller" and is set in an alternative near future when Texas has left the US and surrounded itself with a wall. The novel will tell the story of Jet and Blue, two young women on the run. One is pregnant and seeking an abortion. The other is accused of a murder she didn’t commit. In a state where everyone, including children, is required by law to carry guns, and where abortion results in the death penalty for the mother, and where vigilantes shoot anyone who tries to cross the Wall, both young women are desperate to escape into America.
Daugherty said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that Lori Stephens is Moonflower Publishing's first acquisition. Discovering Blue Running during lockdown was like tripping over a pot of gold. Lori's writing absolutely sings from the page. The story she tells is ominous and brutally real, but also full of hope. You will cheer Blue and Jet on as they search for family and freedom. With this book, Moonflower announces the kind of publisher it wants to be — bold, innovative, always interesting, and brave."
Stephens commented: “I'm thrilled and honoured that Blue Running will be published by the brilliant folks at Moonflower Publishing. I wrote it as a coming-of-age tale, full of action and perils, Texas-style. I didn't realise that the novel's publication would coincide with the culmination of the most pressing issues Texans are facing today. I feel very lucky that Moonflower is introducing Blue and her prescient world to the UK.”
Stephens' American published novels include Novalee and the Spider Secret (Bedazzled Ink, 2018) and Song of the Orange Moons (Blooming Tree Press, 2010). Blue Running is her first book to be published in the UK.
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