Dustin Street, editor at Big Small Town Books, has acquired a new young adult contemporary manuscript from Bekah Harris, of Kingsport, Tennessee, the company announced today.
The as-yet-untitled YA novel will be Harris's seventh published book, and her first to be published with Big Small Town Books—an independent imprint that will highlight Appalachian authors and the stories they have to share with the world
In a statement on Monday morning, Street said Harris's new book will set the tone for the kinds of stories he'd like to publish because they showcase what is special about the Appalachian region, while at the same time breaking down stereotypes that people unfamiliar with the area have built up in their minds.
"I've lived in Appalachia most of my life, and I think there's still this crazy stigma about the place and the kind of people and art that come from here," Street said. "Bekah's new novel really embodies the kind of resistance to that stigma that I want my company to focus on. There's a sort of dichotomy to the story in that it embraces what is so special about our home, and also shines a light on some qualities and characteristics that a lot of folks miss out on or just fail to see."
While the company is not yet releasing a full synopsis of Harris's novel, Street did tease that readers can look forward to a story that has a little something for everyone.
"When Bekah pitched me this book, I was immediately captivated," Street said. "It's actually nostalgic in one way, and in another it's just jam-packed with emotional touchpoints and humor that I think will resonate with everyone. I actually teared up a bit, because one of the characters reminds me achingly of my late grandmother, and the special bond we forged over the years. This is not a book you'll want to miss."
Harris's deal with Big Small Town Books went into effect at the beginning of this month, and she is currently finishing up her initial draft of the novel.
Readers can expect a title and cover reveal in the months to come, as well as a pre-order campaign that will lead up to the book's release in the third quarter of 2019.
"This is the first book for us, and I'm excited about this new partnership with Bekah," Street concluded. "We've got some really special stuff planned for this book that's going to be stretched out over most of 2019. I'm really looking forward to the journey."
The Big Small Town Books website will launch soon. Visit Harris on Facebook at