Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Young-Adult Author J.S. Furlong to Sign Books at Barnes & Noble July 1

J.S. Furlong (Photo/J.S. Furlong)

WILLIAMSBURG — Barnes & Noble New Town location will hold a book signing on July 1 with author J.S. Furlong for her YA book series “The Unimaginables.”

The series is set against the backdrop of Richmond shortly after 9/11. It follows 14-year-old Jewish chess champion Stacy Goldman as she enrolls in the academically aggressive St. Ignatius Prep in order to graduate early and get home to New York.

It’s there that Stacy discovers Richmond’s biggest secret — the city is home to a supernatural subculture run by a monster as old as the city itself.

Furlong wanted to write stories that her children could eventually read and the first book in the series, “Hidden City,” was the result. Now, as a mother of four, Furlong loves more than ever to be able to write teen characters she hopes teens, tweens, and adult lovers of the YA genre will enjoy.

Hidden City Book Cover (Photo/ J.S. Furlong)

“These books combine so many of my favorite things into one,” Furlong explained. “I love vampires, I love chess, I love Richmond, I love New York City, I have a ton of Jewish friends. It just took so many things that I love and put them into one animal.”

Furlong used to play chess before becoming a coach for a homeschool chess club. She loved the game and teaching it, so she wanted to have a character who was better at chess than she was.

Her love for vampires was a result of Anne Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire” novel. When she was 17 years old and acting professionally in Washington D.C., one of her fellow cast members in a production of “A Christmas Carol” recommended it to her

“I was so not into vampires and so not interested in that stuff that I kind of gave her the eye,” Furlong recalled. “And I loved it. I read it because a grown-up who I respected gave it to me, and I loved it.”

Furlong moved to Richmond a few years later when she was on tour with a theater company. She found it was a fantastic place for her to be, with a ton of under-21 things to do in the 1990s. She eventually made friends at the local game store, which lead her to a game called “Vampire: The Masquerade,” a live-action role-playing game by White Wolf Publishing.

“I played bad guys a lot, so much so that the guys at White Wolf called me up and said would you write the live-action book on bad guys for our game?” Furlong said. “I said yes, yes I will.”

The book is called “Antagonists” and is published under Furlong’s maiden name Jennifer Albright.

That was only the beginning of Furlong’s writing. According to her website, her writing took off when she took a hiatus from acting to have children. A college professor once read a story she wrote and wrote on the paper, “Not bad. You should publish this.” Those words stuck with her, even as she wrote the first draft of “Hidden City” in 2004, when she had her second son.

“It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s funny,” Furlong describes her book. “If you like the first page, you’re going to have a good time here.”

Tattooed Angel (Photo/J.S. Furlong)

“Tattooed Angel,” which came out Sept. 15, 2022, is the second book in “The Unimaginables” series, which she plans will have five books. The third book in the series, “Magic Squared,” is planned for April 20, 2024.

She is also working on a middle-grade spin-off series following Meredith, Stacy’s best friend from New York, and the adventures she has with Stacy before the events of the main series.

The signing will offer an opportunity for fans to get a signed copy of the sequel book or pick up the first book if they have never done so before. The event will be at the Barnes & Noble in New Town starting at noon on July 1.

For more information about the books or Furlong, visit her official website.

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