Sharing his thoughts on a fresh draft of my novel in progress, the contract illustrator proclaims:
This whole thing is, like, so hilarious!
Best of all, the 4th grader can barely utter consecutive syllables without breaking into fits of hysterics as he tries to describe the characters. His cheeks stretch too wide for speech at recounting the antics of Cowboy Herold.
Herold Woodley, A.K.A. Cowboy Herold, steals the narrative from the sidelines.
I, Author of the Universe concerns itself mainly with Fish, who narrates his frustrating existence as a writer of stories nobody reads until a girl named Monty comes along. Monty’s got a flair for illustration, and with her dazzling sketches as part of the package, patrons of Mr. Mangiani’s SweetLife Cafe can’t keep their hands off Fish’s stories. But the popularity of their work proves too much for Monty, who’s got a big secret to hide. So it falls to unreliable farm-boy Herold Woodley to save the day.
Cowboy Herold comes from moonshiner stock, a misfit in the liberal college town of Woodley Park. He rides a horse named Palomina to school and calls his teachers ‘pilgrim.’ When Principal Tuckler prohibits horse-riding, Cowboy Herold mounts his mule instead. He reads Guns & Ammo in the library while his classmates hunt the shelves for Harry Potter, and raises a pig named Wilbur in honor of E.B. White, ‘the one true writer whose books are worth a damn.’
A pragmatist, Cowboy Herold is the only person in town able to recognize that Monty—‘she’s not from around here, pilgrim’—might just be an alien.
Can Cowboy Herold, his scatalogical poetry filling the classroom with a stench and his thumb-and-forefinger pistola a deadly weapon against the innocent Marjorie Dearfoot, save Fish and Monty from public humiliation?
I, Author of the Universe answers this question and so many more. It explores the mysteries that surround us, from religion and morality to the existence of God and alien life.
But most of all, it’s a novel about friendship and loyalty written for a boy dear to my heart turning eight this July.