Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Random Penguins for Penguin Random House

Mary Laura Philpott signs a book deal for her adorable penguins

Mary Laura Philpott is probably best known around Nashville as the editor of Musing: A Laid Back Lit Journal, the blog at Parnassus Books in Nashville. In that capacity she has interviewed David Sedaris, Bill and Willie Geist, Jovan Haye, and host of other literary guests of the store, but more to the point for our purposes here, Philpott also provides a voice for Gracie, Opie, Sparky, and the other dogs at Parnassus: “Shop Dog Diaries” might be the best recurring feature of any literary magazine publishing today.

Clearly Philpott knows her way around inter-species communication because she’s also the voice of a set of irrepressible penguins—irrepressible, sometimes profane cartoon penguins, at least—that currently live on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and WordPress. And soon the Random Penguins will have their own book, too. Philpott announced the news on her blog:

I guess I was always sort of afraid someone from Penguin Random House might call.

I figured it would be a lawyer with some sort of cease-and-desist message.

But when the call came, it was not a lawyer. It was an editor. And she did not want the birds to cease (or desist).

I’m beyond insanely excited to share the news that The Random Penguins will be waddling into the real world as a book in the summer of 2015. Penguins With People Problems will be published by Perigee Books, an imprint of—I swear I’m not making this up—Penguin Random House.

Till then, you can find the Random Penguins and keep track of their book news here. Because you know you want to find out what happens when a penguin leaves a drunk voice-mail message or drops a cracker crumb down her bra in a meeting.