by ASHLEY BRUCE, Cascade A&E Editorial Intern
Kiersten White, the bestselling author of the popular teen trilogy, Paranormalcy, has known she would be a writer for as long as she could remember. “Reading has always been my favorite activity,” she comments. “It was a very natural transition from being an avid reader and lover of stories to being a writer, where I could create my own stories to share with others.”
As a child, she was hopeful that her career would lead her to become an illustrator, as well. “It turns out they like you have artistic talent in order to be an illustrator. Alas, I have none,” White lamented. That’s why, for her most recent novel, she collaborated with Portland artist, Jim Di Bartolo, to create a work split between words and images.
Di Bartolo, like White, predicted his career path at a young age. He was inspired to draw and paint images by both his father, who himself was an artist, and the Sunday cartoons. Di Bartolo has partnered with writers on several books, including Lips Touch: Three Times, a 2009 National Book Award finalist written with his wife, Laini Taylor.
The novel co-authored with White, In the Shadows, has been Bartolo’s “dream project.” White created such “lyrical, lovely, and creepily wondrous text chapters,” Di Bartolo applauds. “Words are true artistry, and [White’s] ability to create such whole, unique characters is breathtaking.”
In the Shadows follows the lives of sisters, Cora and Minnie, who live in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house and their father is gone. They suspect that the woman up the hill from them may be a witch.
Thomas and Charles are brothers who have been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt, from which they vainly try to escape.
Arthur is also new to the boarding house. His fate is tied to those of Cora, Minnie, Thomas, and Charles. One day, Arthur inexplicably discovers he knows of the specific forces that are working in the shadows, manipulating fates and crafting conspiracies. The closer Cora, Minnie, Arthur, Thomas and Charles get to the truth, the closer they get to harm. But the forces threaten not only their safety. They threaten the entire world. It just remains to be seen whether the group can act quickly enough to save it.
The book, released on April 29, is now on shelves nationwide.