By Darvell Hunt
Deseret Book, a.k.a. Shadow Mountain, has certainly landed a big fish with the emergence of new author Brandon Mull. I’m sure both Deseret Book and Brandon Mull couldn’t be more pleased with the first appearance for each of them on the New York Times Best Seller List for children.
A big Harry Potter fan myself, I read the first Fablehaven book and was surprised to find that I liked it. I was even more surprised to find that book two is even better than the first. I can’t wait for the next in the series.
This is good news for LDS publishing, LDS writers, and LDS readers. In today’s blog, I want to concentrate on why it’s good for LDS writers.
Before this landmark event, some people have said that it was preferable to submit a “non-LDS” mainstream fantasy novel to a mainstream publisher, not an LDS publisher—even though LDS publishers have done fairly well within its own market with such books (for example, James Dashner’s Jimmy Fincher books).
But now, an LDS publisher has truly broken into the national market and made a big splash, continuing my big fish reference in my opening sentence. The whole idea of submitting to Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain has now changed. Just as President Hinckley has given the church real credibility in the eyes of the national media, Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain has now done the same thing with the fiction publishing market.
Should we be excited about this? Most certainly. Especially those of us, including myself, who have similar works they’d like to see published by Shadow Mountain and reach a broader mainstream pool of national readers than just "our LDS market".
As it turns out, I currently have such a novel at Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain, which they have had in their possession for a couple of months now. Whether they accept my novel or not (I hope they do, duh!), this move toward the national market with LDS-friendly stories can’t help but be a wonderful thing.