I am delighted to announce that Half-Witch is a Locus Award finalist.
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Last Thursday I had the pleasure of returning to my high school, Sandy Spring Friends School, meeting with several groups of middle-grade and high school students, talking about writing fiction, and taking questions.
For a cantankerous old hermit like me, it was quite an adventure. However, everyone treated me gently, and the experience was very enjoyable. I meant to take selfies with the students, but the moment never seemed quite right, and I thank Sharon Kathryn Yntema for providing this one, by someone else.
My thanks to Ariel Voorhees, Mimi Youmans, Kiki Vargas, Lisa Penkowsky, Sara Jameson and Lauren Mossman, who made this trip possible and held the fort together.
I’m delighted to announce that Half-Witch is getting an audiobook, from Tantor Media. Here’s the order page.
Here’s a sample:
It’s that time of the year.
Half-Witch is my only publication this year, but one I’m very happy with. I believe it is eligible for the Nebula, Hugo, Andre Norton, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Mythopoeic, and Shirley Jackson awards, at least. My Campbell eligibility has long since expired. Half-Witch is being marketed as Middle Grade, but seems to have been read widely by adults, and might qualify in either YA or Adult novel categories
Kirkus starred review: “Readers who appreciate powerful female friendships and sui generis whimsy will cherish it.”
Amal El-Mohtar, The Best New Fantasy Novels, in the New York Times: “Half-Witch is a marvel of storytelling, balancing humor, terror and grace. Lizbet… and Strix are a perfect double act, and the shape and texture of the friendship they build is a joy to discover.”
NPR’s Best Books of 2018: “A marvelous blend of whimsy, terror and deep feeling.”
Colleen Mondor in Locus: “There is something deeply satisfying about a traditional fantasy with plucky protagonists, nefarious villains, hungry goblins, tricky witches, and a dangerous and difficult quest… Everything you expect to find is present, plus a lot of unlikely twists and turns that make this adventure a classic read.”
A Junior Library Guild Selection.
I am absolutely delighted to announced that NPR has named Half-Witch as one of its Best Books of 2018! This has been a great year for my little debut novel, and this is a fabulous way to end it.
Glowing review of Half-Witch in the Times, by Amal El-Mohtar, herself a fine SFF writer.
“Half-Witch” is a marvel of storytelling, balancing humor, terror and grace. Lizbet is so earnestly good, in a way that I think has fallen out of fashion but that I loved reading. She and Strix are a perfect double act, and the shape and texture of the friendship they build is a joy to discover.
Amazing review. I couldn’t hope for better. Read the full review all here.
By the way, at the top of the review is C.L. Polk’s Witchmark, which has received lots of praise this year. Chelsea is an old acquaintance from the OWW writing workshop, and I’m delighted to see her debut novel having fantastic success.
The August issue of Locus, just out, has a very positive review of HALF-WITCH, by Colleen Mondor. It’s behind a paywall (unless you subscribe to the on-line version of Locus), but here’s a sample:
“There is something deeply satisfying about a traditional fantasy with plucky protagonists, nefarious villains, hungry goblins, tricky witches, and a dangerous and difficult quest. In John Schoffstall’s Half-Witch, everything you expect to find is present, plus a lot of unlikely twists and turns that make this adventure a classic read… Lisbet and Strix become the very definition of plucky, and it is hard not cheer them on.”
Bless my sainted parents in Heaven.
Lead the human race to world peace, an end to hunger, and brotherhood between all faiths and nations.
Please let the Westboro Baptist Church picket my book-signing today.
My debut novel, Half-Witch, is published today by Big Mouth House, an imprint of Small Beer Press.
Lizbet Lenz, fifteen years old, lives in a Europe that lost its way on the road to modernity. The sun still goes around the earth. Goblins lurk in cellars and witches conspire in the forests. The war between God and Satan is going badly for the home team. Lizbet has spent a lonely and friendless childhood fleeing from one town to another with her father Gerhard, a charming swindler never more than a step ahead of the law. When Gerhard is jailed for his crimes, only Lizbet can free him.
In the company of Strix, a clever, worldly, and sarcastic witch girl who is Lizbet’s opposite in every way, Lizbet undertakes a perilous journey over mountains that encircle the world. And that’s just the start of her troubles!
Half-Witch is being marketed as middle-grade, but it should be accessible to readers of all ages.
I hope you enjoy Half-Witch!