Big News About Mel

There is a really good reason why I haven’t posted on the blog in a while.  And when I tell you what it is, you’ll understand why I haven’t.

The first reason is that I’ve been deeply engrossed in a new project–a new project until today I couldn’t tell you about. But now I can tell you about it.

I’m sure that you can all relate to the idea of wanting to shout something from the top of a mountain–or in my case the Alpine Path–for months and not being able to do so.

Inside you are jumping up and down like a kid hopped up on bubblegum ice cream:

But on the surface you are the pillar of calm:

Which is essentially what I kept on doing.  Lots of research and writing for this new project.

pile of books

In picturesque farm settings:

Vermont 2013

In my new character-inspired notebook:


All while working full time and with the National Reading Campaign.  Last June, I was hired on to be the Co-ordinator of the Children’s Book Reviews, so I spent most of the summer working with the amazing people there hiring our team of reviewers. The new website and blog has been live for a few weeks , so I do hope that you will check it out.

But that is not the whole reason why I haven’t been blogging.  And I think that I’ve kept you waiting long enough. Perhaps my reference to the Alpine Path, or the pile of books gave you a tiny inkling of what it could possibly be?

This past Saturday, I attended the annual Lucy Maud Montgomery Day  in Leaskdale, Ontario which is co-ordinated by the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario, a group of people who do amazing things–like organize this day each year. Montgomery had lived there from 1911-1926 and the organization is committed to preserving the Manse and church where she and her husband, Ewan, worked and lived.

Leaskdale 2013

Saturday’s speakers included, Kate Macdonald Butler,  Dr. Edith Smith, Stevie Cameron and Arlene Perly Rae.  The organization has been raising money for a Bronze statue that will sit in a garden adjacent to the church, and they held The Cat’s Meow Gala last night. I didn’t attend, but some of these works of art, were simply amazing.


I have dreams of being this crafty.  But, yes, something else happened on Saturday. I guess that I should let the cat out of the bag–ha!–sorry the talk of cats and then there is my cat Merlin who just likes boxes…

Merlin in a box

Okay, I suspect that I’m getting annoying now.

Before she gave her talk, Kate made an announcement which was later repeated in a press release that went out today.

This is what it says:

October 21, 2013 (Toronto)—Publishing Director Lynne Missen has commissioned a young adult novel based on the life of one of Canada’s literary titans, Lucy Maud Montgomery. The novel, written by debut author Melanie J. Fishbane, will be published under the Razorbill imprint in 2015.

“The idea for this book came up at a lunch with representatives of the heirs of L.M. Montgomery and we were all immediately smitten,” says Missen. “We know L.M. Montgomery as the originator of such cherished characters as Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon, girls whose zest for life and passion for writing live on in our hearts. Now she herself will be brought to life in the same dramatic fashion as her own characters.”

Focusing on the life of L.M. Montgomery from ages fourteen to eighteen, the novel explores her school days in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, to her year living with her father and difficult stepmother in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The book will be published with the full support of the L.M. Montgomery estate.

“My family is excited to be involved with another innovative literary project with Penguin Canada on the subject of my grandmother, L.M. Montgomery,” says Kate MacDonald-Butler. “Only a young adult novel could envision the dizzying romantic highs and the agonizing lows of finding one’s place in the world. We are looking forward to the creative talents of Melanie Fishbane in bringing the teenaged Maud to life for a new generation of readers.”

Penguin Canada’s President and Publisher, Nicole Winstanley, says, “L.M. Montgomery was an extraordinary woman who rose above societal norms at that time to become Canada’s first internationally successful writer. We are very proud to publish this new work of fiction with the enthusiastic support of the heirs of L.M. Montgomery, continuing our partnership and dedication to the literary heritage of L.M. Montgomery.”

And it was announced by L.M. Montgomery’s granddaughter!  And the friend that I was with showed such  joy for my success, that it made the moment so much sweeter for me. And if you would have told me five years ago when I walked into the 2008 Biennial L.M. Montgomery conference that I would be writing a young adult novel based on her life, I would have been like, “Yeah, in my dreams!”

Well, not to get completely overly sticky toffee pudding about this, but this really is a dream come true.  It is  the perfect merging of my love for historical fiction (which was a big component of my M.A. graduate thesis), my love for all things Montgomery, and my love of writing young adult literature.  I always wondered what it was that fuelled me to keep at the Montgomery research while completing my M.F.A.

Gratitude doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this opportunity. And the trust that everyone has placed in me,  can feel a little overwhelming. But really… I feel like this:

About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
This entry was posted in Authors, L.M. Montgomery, Teen lit, Writing, Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Big News About Mel

  1. Shelby says:

    Melanie, this is AMAZING news! And yet, I’m not at all surprised. You are going to do an amazing job. That you have the trust and support of Ms. Montgomery’s family is just remarkable. I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to read it.

  2. Ellar Cooper says:

    So happy for you, friend! 🙂

  3. SHEREE FITCH says:

    OH!!!!!!! WE can all hardly wait!

  4. How cool! The passion and fervour will fuel a fabulous story. Don’t look down!

  5. Nina Nelson says:

    Congratulations, Melanie! It sounds wonderful.

  6. 8thcyn says:

    Congratulations, Melanie!

  7. Mary Griffin says:

    Melanie, I can’t tell you how EXCITED I am for you! Congratulations!! I can’t wait to read it.

  8. Sharon Freedman says:

    Hi Melanie. I’m a friend of your very proud mother. My name is Sharon. Actu ally, I just saw your mother this am, and she didn’t say a word. Well, congratulations are in order and I’m sure it will be wonderful.

  9. Andrea says:

    Wow Melanie! What a wonderful opportunity. Congratulations! One I will have on my can’t wait till it hits the shelf list.

  10. Kathleen says:

    That is awesome! I can’t wait to read it!

  11. THIS IS WONDERFUL, WELL DESERVED, HARD EARNED, EXCELLENT NEWS! So happy for you. You deserve this– bask in it, then write a hell of a book (I know you will, it’s your destiny).

  12. L. Marie says:

    Oh!!!! This is soooo awesome!!!!

  13. I can’t think of a more passionate author to pen this tribute! Mazel tov!

  14. Peter Collins says:

    Ms. Fishbane! How insanely perfectly aligned…given your long-time passion for all things LMM. Truly, the cosmos is smiling upon you. This brought a smile to my face…it is always inspiring to hear of talent, sheer hard work and determination meeting with success. Congratulations!!!!

    • Mr. Collins! Thank you so much for your post. I truly appreciate it. From a person who has seen the beginnings of my *clears throat* obsession, I think you carry with you an interesting perspective. ❤ and gratitude.

  15. Beth says:

    Go Melanie!
    An exciting, inspiring, uplifting and unique piece of news!
    Congratulations from South Australia!

  16. Ack! Ack! Ack! DYING OVER THIS! So incredibly cool! I’m dashing off to contact every author friend/reader friend about it!

    Just finishing the journals for the second time (come discuss at my blog!) and am about to start Rubio’s The Gift of Wings.

    Though I don’t know you, I totally know you’re of the tribe of Joseph. 🙂

  17. Marissa says:

    Delighted at the thought of this project! Can’t wait to read it!

  18. sharonholly says:

    Just found your blog today, so this is kind of late, but congratulations! That is a book I definitely want to read 🙂 Anne of Green Gables is all kinds of amazing, but I don’t actually know much about LM Montgomery. What a great idea for a story, and about a Canadian icon too 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I appreciate you finding the blog–and stopping by long enough to leave a comment. If you’re interested in her at all, you might want to check out her journals.

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