Arts and Entertainment

Poulsbo prompts Suzanne Selfors’ newest novel ‘Coffeehouse Angel’

Bainbridge author launches her latest book where it was born — Sept. 13 at Hot Shots Java.

Lost in the whir of an espresso machine and the murmur of external conversation, Suzanne Selfors says she writes best at Hot Shots Java in downtown Poulsbo.

“I just like the rhythms of this place,” she said, talking over coffee at Hot Shots last week. “I don’t know why. It has just the right amount of noise. It’s a little bit distracting, but it’s not too distracting... it just puts me in a zone for writing.”

The coffeehouse, she adds, provides a respite from the unending chore list of a stay-at-home mom turned children’s author working from a home office, while the town of Poulsbo offers a bit of anonymity for the born-and-raised Bainbridge Islander.

Selfors will be putting that camouflage in jeopardy, reading from and signing copies of her new young adult romantic comedy at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Hot Shots. It’s the launching party for the book, which will appear on this fall’s Indie Kids Next List, and a fitting setting given that Katrina, the novel’s leading lady, and Nordby, the Scandinavian-tinged town in which the story is set, were both inspired from Selfors’ seat at Hot Shots.

“My stories don’t usually happen this way,” she disclosed, “but this character just kind of popped into my head, and I know it was because of this place. I couldn’t ignore her, I called her ‘Coffeehouse Girl’ for a long time, but I just couldn’t get her out of my head, so I knew she’d have to be a part of my next novel.”

In the book — Selfors’ second young adult novel, a follow-up to the widely successful “Saving Juliet” — the “Coffeehouse Girl,” Katrina, spies a homeless man sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop.

She leaves a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans and some pastries for what she thinks is a guy down on his luck. As it turns out, the vagrant is actually a guardian angel on a break between missions. Following Katrina’s random act of kindness, the angel, Malcom, is now indebted to reward her selflessness by fulfilling her heart’s greatest desire.

But in true teenaged fashion, her greatest desire is that which she cannot have.

Reviewers have commented that Selfors writes with the “eloquent voice of a confused and struggling teenage girl,” but the author admits that the teen/young adult genre is usually more difficult for her to write.

“It’s harder for me to put myself back in that teen angst frame of mind than it is to put myself back into being a fifth-grader for some reason,” Selfors noted. “And teen novels always have to have an aspect of romance, which is very tough to write for me. There always has to be some sort of romantic tension or romantic elements in teen books, because that’s what they’re all thinking about.”

BAINBRIDGE AUTHOR SUZANNE SELFORS will be launching her new young adult novel "Coffeehouse Angel" — which appears on this fall's Indie Bound Kids' Next List — at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Hots Shots Java, 18881 Front St. in Poulsbo. Info: www.suzanneselfors.com, www.indiebound.org.

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