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Jane’s a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She’ll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that’s a long way off.

Not my fault,
 she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma’s Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.

Everything’s looking up. She’s climbing the ladder at the paper, scoring connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper’s front page, his arm around a girl who’s just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane’s newspaper―hit in the head with a crowbar.

Copy Boy’s Virtual Launch and Fundraiser were great fun. If you missed it, here are some links to the recording. One is long. The others are ten-minute tastes, featuring one-page performances and Q & A.

In The Long Version (1:34:05) Dorothy Rice emcees, Amanda McTigue, Jessica Laskey and Ian C. Hopps perform one-page-readings from the novel, Shelley answers questions, Capital Books gives away prizes and friends and family chat.

In One Page Reading by Amanda McTigue (7:55) Amanda introduces Jane, who finds that it’s hard to be ambitious when you’re poor.

In One Page Reading by Jessica Laskey (9:38) Jessica makes Momma’s case for why she wants a man who can turn on the lights.

In One Page Reading by Ian C. Hopps (10:04) Ian helps Jane into something a little more comfortable, because sometimes a pocket is not just a pocket.

"Copy Boy is a fantastic story of a young woman's survival and re-invention, set in Northern California during the Depression. Blanton-Stroud's prose sings and crackles and brings us into the world of Jane with so much compassion and beauty and wisdom. An engaging, wonderfully original book."

— Karen E. Bender, author of The New Order, long listed for the Story Prize,
and Refund, a National Book Award finalist
FiveStars2

“A stellar debut. Copy Boy may be Shelley Blanton-Stroud's first novel, but it's apparent from page one that she's been working on her craft for many years. Combining the best elements of noir, historical fiction and coming-of-age stories, Blanton-Stroud has written a compelling, nuanced story. Deftly plotted and expertly executed, Copy Boy is as mesmerizing as the moment when the fog lifts over Nob Hill. Highly recommended.”

— Sheldon Siegel. New York Times Best-Selling Author of the Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez novels
FiveStars2

“Full of adventure, chutzpah, historical detail and, most of all, heart, Copy Boy is a thrilling, Depression-era coming-of-age story well suited to our times.”

Maggie Shen King, award-winning author of An Excess Male
FiveStars2

BITS AND PIECES

Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU July 1 VERKLEMPT ON PUB DAY June 23 ONE MORE WEEK—UNCOVERING COPY BOY June 17 TWO WEEKS TO GO June 9 WHERE IT BEGINS June 3 COPY BOY’S GONE TO PRESS May 25 NERVY NOT NERVOUS April 25 ON PROSE AND PANDEMICS March...

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

Photograph by Dorothea Lange (Public Domain). Before I knew I would write Copy Boy, I spent years collecting and annotating piles of books about Dorothea Lange, an iconic photographer of Dust Bowl migrants like my own family. Her pictures are a mirror of my relatives’...

Herb Caen

Herb Caen

Iconic San Francisco columnist Herb Caen is all over Copy Boy. He was my main character’s first inspiration. When I began writing, my protagonist (now Jane) was Johnny—a straight-up remake of Herb Caen’s prototype. It meant something to me that he was Sacramentan...