Acquisition: Neil Cochrane’s I Will Go to the Bank by the Wood

Forest Avenue Press has acquired world rights for I WILL GO TO THE BANK BY THE WOOD, an #ownvoices trans fantasy about the pain and beauty of connection, by Neil Cochrane, forthcoming in spring 2022. 

Neil Cochrane

A mysterious enchanter gives thirteen-year-old Darragh a magical thorn, which turns him from the child called Beauty into the man he longs to be. When his wealthy father banishes him, Darragh commits to a hardscrabble life as a sailor, working his way up from cabin boy to second mate. More than a decade later, with his father’s impending death set to steal his chance at confrontation, Darragh sets off on a quest to find the one person with the power to help. But so far as anyone knows, no one but Darragh has seen the enchanter for a century, and the fairy tales that survive about em give more cause for fear than hope. In lush and evocative prose, and populated with silver trees that withstand human greed, I WILL GO TO THE BANK BY THE WOOD centers queer and trans characters in a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. 

“Neil Cochrane’s third novel is a masterpiece,” said Publisher Laura Stanfill. “It interrogates which storytellers get to claim history, and how those accounts can fall short, while braiding themes of love, loss, queerness, and gender identity together with incredible imaginative flair.” 

“I’ve never seen a story like this!” Gina Walter, Forest Ave submissions committee reader, said in her notes on the novel. “With this amount of diversity and acceptance integral to the story and messaging at hand, I think it’s incredibly important to put this voice out there.”

Neil Cochrane is a queer, trans author and artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. He writes speculative fiction that centers queer characters overcoming obstacles and building families.

Neil and Forest Avenue Press urge anyone looking forward to I WILL GO TO THE BANK BY THE WOOD to commit to one of the following Black Lives Matter actions: 

Donation Options

Don’t Shoot PDX (website)

For the Gworls, which fundraises for rent and surgery assistance for Black trans people (instagram and linktree)

The Trans Justice Funding Project (website)

G.L.I.T.S., which is an organization that supports trans sex workers (website)

Action Options

Portland action: Email the city council in support of contracting with a new office for reviewing and disciplining police misconduct, completely independent from the Police Bureau, with full access to records, subpoena powers, and authority over officer termination. Here’s a link to an Oregonian article detailing the current system and options for proceeding.

National action: Write to Kentucky’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, to demand charges be filed against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor.

It’s more effective to write your own email than to use a template. Those who would like help can reach out to Neil on Twitter at @ItsNeilCochrane.

Join the Main Street Writers Movement

Forest Avenue Press is the home of the Main Street Writers Movement, which launched Feb. 9. (Parades welcome.)
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