Some of you may have seen my announcement on Twitter or Facebook over the weekend, but if you missed it, I have some book news coming out in this week’s print edition of Publisher’s Weekly. Here’s a sneak peek:
I am thrilled, humbled, and overwhelmed–all in the best possible ways. This is truly a dream come true. Not only that I will be able to fulfill my lifelong goal of seeing my words in print, but also that I can share this particular story with readers.
Sidenote: I am hyperventilating with delight–I am going to have readers! (I hope. You’ll read my book, won’t you?)
Peter Pan and its many adaptions, retellings, and spin-offs have always had a special place in my heart. I can hardly believe that my words will be a part of this amazing group.
The original J.M. Barrie classic was the first longer-than-one-sitting book I read to my daughter. I can still picture her as a pink pajamaed two-year-old laying in her toddler bed and quietly playing with her toys while I read aloud to her. Though at first I wasn’t sure any of my words were sinking in, she soon began acting out scenes that she had seemed to ignore when I read them. Peter Pan became both her imaginary friend and alter-ego for the next few years and we spent many hours pretending to “fight those nasty pirates” together.
One day, when Newt was about five, I came down with the flu. I made myself a little nest on the couch, put out some Goldfish crackers and juice boxes, and set up a couple DVDs: Hook and the live action 2003 Peter Pan. While she watched, I slept, the sounds of the movies filtering through my virus haze. When the movies ended I woke up with a question in my head: What if Captain Hook had had a daughter?
Hook’s Revenge grew from that day, though it would be several years before I would get serious about completing it. Last fall, I signed with my agent, Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Lit, and with his help, set about polishing the manuscript and preparing it to go on submission.
During the first week of December, Brooks sent my manuscript to several editors–I was officially on sub. I tried not to think about it too much, choosing instead to focus on enjoying the holidays with my family. At the end of January, I was thrilled when Brooks called to inform me that we had received an offer. Two days later we got another one. We were going to auction!
Several editors wanted to speak to me, and once again I was sick, this time with a terrible hacking cough. Over the next week, I took phone calls from five different editors–all from my bed. I asked and answered questions, took notes, and tried not to cough too loudly in their ears. I was very impressed with each one and remember telling Brooks that I would have been more than happy to work with any of them. However, for this story, neither of us could think of a better fit than with Rotem at Disney•Hyperion.
On the day of the auction, the original two publishers put their offers in early. As the clock started to run down, it looked as though no other offers would arrive. It was a little anti-climactic, but I still felt incredibly lucky. I was about to feel even more so: With only minutes left until closing, the remaining three houses sent offers. All five editors I had spoken to wanted to work with me!
The next day, on February 5th–the 60th anniversary of Disney’s Peter Pan–I accepted Disney•Hyperion’s offer. Hook’s Revenge would be a real book!
Confidential aside to Walt and Newt: I could not have done this without you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Now please excuse me a moment while I hyperventilate some more.
You may be wondering why it has taken a little while for me to make this announcement. Each publishing house has its own policies. Disney•Hyperion prefers to have a signed contract in hand before their authors announce and sometimes contracts can take well, some time. Brooks, Rotem, and I have all been sitting on this secret for months, but you know what? I think it has been well worth the wait.
I am both incredibly happy and incredibly grateful that Hook’s Revenge has found such a wonderful home. I can’t wait until next fall when I can share it with you. (You know, if you want.)
P.S. If you’d like to add Hook’s Revenge to your To Be Read shelf, it is already up on Goodreads. And watch this space, Twitter, and Facebook for more news as it comes!