Novel Ideas #83: A Smorgasbord of Authors
Wherein I discuss book industry news, pair a book with a board game in Tables & Fables, discuss our book of the month, The Prince and the Dressmaker, and interview two of the authors on our slate to be published.
:52 Book Industry News
5:44 Tables & Fables: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero & Betrayal at the House on the Hill
8:47 Book of the Month: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
18:40 Author Interviews: Daniel Moore Glaser, author of The Two Stegosauruses & Artie Sievers, author of Captain
33:55 Wrap-Up and Coming next month
Book & Game Industry News
Tables & Fables: Meddling Kids & Betrayal at the House on the Hill
In this segment, I pair books with board games, and in this episode, I discuss Meddling Kids, a novel by Edgar Cantero, and the board game Betrayal at the House on the Hill. If you’re a fan of Scooby Doo, you’ll love both of these!
Both Meddling Kids and Betrayal also offer ample humor, as the novel has many callbacks (like the Zoinx River Valley), and the game has some silly elements (like everyone getting shrunken to the size of mice and having to fly out of a window in a toy airplane). If you like creepy horror AND a bit of humor, Meddling Kids and Betrayal at House on the Hill will be right up your alley.
Check them both out at Tubby & Coo’s! You can order Meddling Kids here.
Book of the Month: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
In this segment, I discuss our book of the month, The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang.
This cute YA graphic novel is a sweet story about the friendship between a seamstress named Frances and a Prince named Sebastian, whose parents are looking for a bride for him. However, at night, the Prince transforms: he puts on a red wig and his friend Frances’ beautiful ballgowns and goes out in Paris as Lady Crystallia — the hottest fashion icon in the city where fashion reigns supreme. Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) Frances is a brilliant dressmaker and one of only two people who knows the truth about Sebastian. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret forever.
I loved the representation in this book. I haven’t seen a lot of media tackling gender fluidity, and this book does it well. The artwork is phenomenal, and the fashion Wang creates and represents throughout the course of the book is colorful and fun.
As always, I have the same complaint I usually have about books: the romance element seemed unnecessary. I would have loved to have seen Frances and Sebastian as platonic best friends for the course of the book, but a romance develops between them, and that was disappointing to me. I also felt like the ending was wholly unrealistic and sacchrine. Everything works out in a fairy tale “happily ever after” way, and that’s just not how real life works. I understand that this is a YA fairy tale type story; however, I feel the book may be conveying an unrealistic message.
Overall, I did enjoy this book, especially the beautiful artwork. The characters were endearing, and I cared about what happened to them. Also, it’s a standalone graphic novel, which I loved because I could read it in one fell swoop. If you’re looking for a super sweet and cute story, this book is worth the 45 minutes it will take you to read it. Just keep in mind that it is a fairy tale, and real life doesn’t always work out so perfectly.
Next month, I’ll be discussing An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. In this book, the main character, Aster, lives in the low deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. This book is about a Black, queer, disabled woman investigating a series of blackouts on the Matilda and their connection to her mother’s decades-ago suicide.
If you decide to read it with me, please go to our Goodreads discussion group and let me know your thoughts in the thread. I may feature them on the podcast next month!
Interview: Daniel Moore Glaser & Artie Sievers
For this month’s interview segment, I welcome Daniel Moore Glaser and Artie Sievers, two authors with books Tubby & Coo’s is publishing.
Daniel Moore Glaser, author of The Two Stegosauruses, has been creating fun experiences for others ever since he started drawing cartoons for his classmates in second grade. A New Orleans native, he graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School while attending the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) for Visual Art. He attended college at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he graduated in Computer Animation. Daniel loves to code and build applications that help the daily lives of other people. He currently works as a software engineer when he is not drawing or playing board games. Find out more about Daniel and his work at www.danielmglaser.com.
Artie Sievers, author of Captain, has been a lot of things: an actor, an Army medic, a carnival dunking booth operator, an arts administrator, a narrator, an author, and a composer. He received the 2017 KSF Artist of Choice Award for his musical The Goree All-Girl String Band. Artie also runs the super popular (read: vaguely known) Instagram account @catsatthemet, where he’s on a lifelong mission to find every single cat that appears at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He lives in what the Lenape once called “The Great Maize Land” with his two cats, one of whom is a real girl.
And our third author, who was not available to be interviewed, is Ali Solino, whose book is Alligator, Bayou, Crawfish, a New Orleans ABC book.
Visit our publishing page for more information and to order our books.
Join me again next month for more book industry news, my book of the month discussion of An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon, and more!
You can also find the bookstore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @tubbyandcoos. And did I mention our new Goodreads discussion group, where you can find a list of all the books our book clubs are reading, this podcast’s book of the month, and more? Tell us what you’re reading, we’d love to discuss with you!
Keep on reading!
Novel Ideas is a podcast in partnership with WRBH Reading Radio, 88.3 FM New Orleans. WRBH is the nation’s only full-time FM reading radio service and is one of only three such stations in the world.