Local author signs multi-book deal with publisher
July 13, 2016
A long-standing Ozarks tradition culminated into a five-book deal for local Cassville author Prix Gautney. Publisher Oghma Creative Media out of Arkansas offered Gautney a five-book deal for a young adult fantasy series called “Evershade” plus an additional book deal for a western novel titled “The Cochetopa Kid.”
“Evershade” came about after something her son told her years ago. Gautney said, “Each autumn, we harvest black walnuts, and one year, the walnuts began to fall weeks before the huller opened to buy them. We hoarded the walnuts in an enormous mound at the corner of our house, and I told him that we were the keepsers of the walnuts. He said that we were the ‘Walnut Keepers.’ I thought “The Walnut Keepers” would make a good title, so I stashed it away in my mind for a couple of years, eventually developing an entire world around the one idea.”
While Gautney didn’t end up sticking with the title and instead went with “Evershade,” the premise stayed the same. The story is about woodland creatures who made Evershade their home, and those creatures are the Walnut Keepers.
Gautney’s writing has been a long-standing part of her life. She is a part of a writers’ group called Mid South Writers. The group attends a conference in Eureka Springs, Ark., each fall, and that is where she was offered the deal.
Gautney signed up to pitch the story of Everyshade and one other to Oghma. Last fall, she also won first prize in the western category sponsored by western author Dusty Richards, leading her to get another contract. In all, Gautney will be writing five books in the “Evershade” series and one for the western novel “The Cochetopa Kid.”
The first two chapters of “The Cochetopa Kid” were published in the magazine “Saddlebag Dispatches” last month and can be read online at www.saddlebagdispatches.com.
Gatuney’s first novel in the Evershade series is titled “Season of Crows” and will be available through Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com on July 22. Some copies will be available locally, but those locations are yet to be announced.
Local contributions also helped to make “Evershade” possible, including an illustrated map and development of a complete language for the turtles by local artist Ben DeVore. Springfield artist David A. Frizell did the cover art.
Gautney lives in Cassville and has two children, Nefertiti, 14, and Quixote, 12.
Gautney will be discussing her book at the Cassville Library on Monday, July 25, at 7 p.m. as part of the summer reading program.
Season of Crows teaser:
When a banished mousemaid and her crippled companion race across a field in the dark of night to warn Evershade of the impending crow attack, Ash and the other Walnut Keepers must choose to stay and fight for their beloved home—or flee for their very lives.
But how can a peaceful, weaponless society of woodland creatures ever hope to defeat the murderous crows? In the midst of the worst drought in Evershade history, Ash and the others must call on their talents and their allies in neighboring kingdoms if they are to have any hope of surviving the coming war.
And if they survive, what will they do when the water runs out for good?