From Rain to Rivers

Now that the rain here in Portland has finally given way to a beautiful, sunshiny spring, our team at Ooligan is turning its attention from Rhythm in the Rain to a pair of shiny new projects.

I say new, but our first project might look a little familiar. Ricochet River, Robin Cody’s coming-of-age classic about small-town life in the Columbia River Gorge during the 1960s, turns twenty-five this year. The book has been accumulating accolades over the years, having been named one of the top one hundred literary works produced in Oregon in the past two hundred years, and finding a perennial home in many high school English curriculums.

This anniversary is the perfect opportunity to shine a light on a book and an author that have come to mean a great deal to our community. While the story itself won’t change, we’ve got a lot of exciting ideas for supplemental materials to be included in the new edition. I’m not going to spill the beans just yet, but know that you’ll be hearing more from Robin himself as well as from some new voices who will explore the book’s legacy.

At the same time that our team is burnishing a classic river story we are also focused on Ooligan Press’s newest acquisition, a beautiful novel from debut author Brian Friesen about a community of houseboats anchored in the Columbia River near Sauvie Island. Somehow our team became the river team! But we couldn’t be happier about it. Brian has personal experience living and working in a marina, and he’s written a book that is at once intensely specific—filled with fascinating details about a unique setting—and universally human. We’re really excited to be working with him. In fact, though the ink might still be drying on his contract, our team is already hard at work on phase one of any new acquisition: developmental editing.

Developmental editing is my favorite part of the publishing process. It’s the part where we work with our author to make great writing even greater and to ensure that the book we will eventually publish is the best version of the story it can possibly be. Brian is in great hands for this stage of his journey. Our team this term is stacked with editing all-stars, representatives from Ooligan’s editorial past and its future.

It’s going to be a busy spring. Getting these two projects underway will take a lot of work, but we’ve got a lot of talent on our team, so I’m not worried. In our next post we’ll take a closer look at some of these superstars, so stay tuned to find out more about who we are and where these rivers will take us.

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