So, you are all kind of amazing. All your congratulations and good wishes and interest in the book–here, on twitter, on facebook, etc.–have been so, so appreciated. I couldn't manage to respond to everyone individually, but please know how much it means. As most of you know, I've been working toward this first novel sale for years (which is not at all unusual–interviewing writers for PW is always a great reminder that we only ever see the tippy tops of people's careers and the iceberg of all the work and setbacks and the rest of it is beneath the water, concealed from everyone but those people in our daily lives). And I always have a tendency to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised if things don't go down in a flaming ball of fiery doom.
All this positivity is disconcerting. I'm not used to it.
Anyway, io9 did that great piece (how much do I love those guys? they are so great for SFF and YA and the world in general, so pinch moment number two–pinch moment number one was when the initital announcement from SC hit). And today the deal made it into Publishers Marketplace–and was mentioned in the daily Publishers Lunch newsletter, surreal pinch moment number three. I have read that newsletter every day FOR AGES and to see my book mentioned…my little #nerdromancethriller-that-could. Here's the text of the PM listing:
Gwenda Bond's BLACKWOOD, a young adult novel about a modern-day Lost Colony; when 114 people disappear from Roanoke Island, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back, to Amanda Rutter at Angry Robot, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2012, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (World English).
Translation: Taryn Fagerness Agency
It's listed as an international deal because Angry Robot is based in the UK, but for those who've asked, like Angry Robot, Strange Chemistry will be a global imprint, and the book will be available in the US, the UK and I believe Australia as both a physical object and as an e-book (and Angry Robot also sells DRM-free e-books at their web store). And for booksellers (I LOVE YOU), Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot's US distribution is through Random House.
I really can't wait for you guys to get to read this book. Which I started, oh, back in 2005, I believe. I had the initial idea then, started it as a screenplay, realized I really should be writing YA and so re-started it as a novel…and set it aside for a lot of years because I didn't know the solution to the mystery. And I felt like if I was going to write a fantasy about Roanoke Island and the Lost Colony, I had to solve it, one way or another. Cut to last semester of grad school, a desperate need for a workshop piece, and I pulled out the opening I had. The group (led by the divine Cynthia Leitich Smith) were very, very helpful, but still, even though I knew the overall shape of the story, I didn't know what was causing the disappearances, so I shelved it again… And then, finally, the third time I started to work on it was the charm. Lightning, research, reading: Alchemy. Though, of course, I'm not going to reveal exactly *how* alchemy figures in.
The title Blackwood is actually from the masterminds of Angry Robot, by the way. My original title was too similar to the imprint name. And I like this so much better. It fits the story in every way and…
I really, really can't wait for you guys to get to read this book. So soon! In September. And I can't wait to get my edit letter from the fabulous Amanda and get to work on it again. And then on book two (which will be unrelated to this one; Blackwood is a standalone).
Also, just an aside: Jennifer Laughran is a goddess among agents. There are agents who wouldn't have hung in there with me, lo, these several years, and continued to be wonderful and excited about my work. Jenn did. So…
PINCH ME. But, don't worry, my head won't stay in the clouds, not when I have this:
Pirate Hemingway Don't Care About Books
(Note: No actual eye-patches were used in this photo. Am playing w/ Typepad's new photo editor Aviary.)
And now back to work. More soon.