RELEASING IN JUNE 2020!

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Jane’s a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl.

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.

Get to know Jane...

"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

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...

Grit

Grit

My origin story isn’t something that happened to me. It happened to my father. I inherited it. Kelly Blanton was one of eight sons and two daughters of Ruth and Emmett Blanton, all red-headed. They’d joined the Depression-era dust bowl exodus from the North Texas...