Announcing a YA fantasy sale! (Spiritwalker Monday 2.5)

I’ve mentioned in passing here and there online that I have been working on a YA fantasy but now that I have received an editorial letter that runs 11 single-spaced pages I think I can safely announce:

via my agent Russell Galen of the Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency I have sold an all new all original (new world) YA fantasy to Andrea Spooner at Little Brown Young Reader, the children’s/YA division of Hachette Book Group.

The book’s working title is MASK (subject to change).

The industry announcement of the sale describes it thusly:

A girl’s skill at a forbidden sport shakes the foundations of a rigid aristocracy.

That’s a decent assessment of the plot although it barely scrapes the surface of what the book is actually about.

My pitch line goes like this:

Little Women meets the Count of Monte Cristo in a fantasy setting inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt.

So that’s the GREAT news. I’m super excited to be working with LBYR and with editor Andrea Spooner and her assistant Deirdre Jones and the whole fabulous crew there.

The bad news? Well, I can’t say there is really any bad news in this wonderful project. However, the lead time for YA publishing is a lot longer than it is for adult fiction. The first draft is done (and in fact my agent and I agreed that to try to enter the YA field I needed to submit a manuscript rather than a proposal so I wrote the book on spec and sold it based on a complete manuscript). But given the time frame, what with space built in for revisions and LBYR’s timeline in which they want to be able to produce clean ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) 6 – 9 months before publication, MASK (or whatever title it picks up) will be published in the Spring/Summer 2015 season.

So, yeah, that’s a long time. But I’m still super excited that this is going to be a really great project.

Tomorrow I’ll have more news to announce. It’s gotten busy around here.

21 thoughts on “Announcing a YA fantasy sale! (Spiritwalker Monday 2.5)

  1. Woohoo! I haven’t qualified as a YA for some time now (we’re talking multiple decades, at least) but I can’t wait.

  2. Congratulations!

    I’m theoretically not the target audience for YA stories, but I don’t let that stop me. And in any case I definitely want to get my hands on “Little Women meets the Count of Monte Cristo in a fantasy setting inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt!”

    P.S. They really ought to use your pitches instead of coming up with something bland on their own. Your description would grab me even if I didn’t already know your work. Maybe they don’t trust the YA audience to know about Little Women and the Count of Monte Cristo?

  3. Pingback: But wait! There’s more! Epic fantasy on the way | I Make Up Worlds

  4. I hate to say this, but the setting is great (it’s not Greco Roman Egypt but people who know the period will get the way I’ve rung down the changes)

  5. I do know that my editor at LBYR thinks the Little Women reference will be useful for getting librarians and teachers interested. YA has a whole extra set of mechanisms to get the books into the hands of readers. So we’ll see.

  6. Read my Influences and Inspirations post that will be going up on Book Smugglers around June 25 . . .

  7. That’s a really interesting point from a marketing perspective. I hadn’t thought of that. I imagine word of mouth already drives a lot of your sales, but there really is a separate “gatekeeper” audience for YA books, isn’t there?

    In that case, for whatever my thoughts are worth, I’d definitely keep the pairing of Little Women and The Count of Monte Cristo. Perhaps it says more about the fact that I’ve only read the latter than anything else, but the prospect of a young woman in the role of the Count of Monte Cristo is the part that would excite me about pointing it out to YA readers.

    It’s also a stroke of genius that you’re doing this just as you wrap up the Spiritwalker Trilogy. Even though you haven’t marketed those as YA, they’re every bit as direct and face-paced as you could ask for, with young protagonists coming of age *and* a gatekeeper-friendly Pride and Prejudice feel… They’re a really obvious next step for the new readers you’ll pick up.

  8. Wow. “Face paced.” I guess my typing was too “fast-paced” for my brain…

  9. Oddly, I understood.

    I like the Little Women/Count of Monte Cristo pairing, too. The stories aren’t really plotted at all the same so what it really is, is four sisters, and then the need to get revenge.

  10. Pingback: Elevator Pitches | K. L. Daveth

Comments are closed.