(Photo by Barbara Vey - Thanks Barbara!) Monday night was quite an exciting night. It being the first Monday of the month, it was Lady Jane's Salon and we had an incredible lineup of bestselling authors; from L to R, Sabrina Jeffries (who recently hit #8 on the NYT with her latest!), innovator, author and activist Donna Hill, the charming and hilarious Janet Mullany, and myself in my Victorian regalia, de rigeur whenever I'm reading. We also had the pleasure of Publishers Weekly's Barbara Vey being our guest Emcee for the evening, thanks to Barbara for this picture and for mentioning us on her Beyond Her Book PW blog! Getting to step from Lady Jane's co-founder into the spotlight to read is always one of my favourite events, since I don't have time to be on stage in productions anymore, reading at Lady Jane's certainly scratches that itch. I read from "A Christmas Carroll" featured in A MIDWINTER FANTASY, and since there's been a delay in the release, Dorchester has put up a special MIDWINTER Page where you can join the mailing list and receive coupons too! Check it out!
The crowd was filled with industry professionals, authors and readers. It was here, as I took the stage, that I got to make the announcement of my really good news; a new book deal!
Come November, 2011, I'll begin my new Victorian Paranormal Young Adult series: MAGIC MOST FOUL...
Set in 1882 New York City, the story is told via the diary of eighteen-year old Natalie Stewart, a spirited and intelligent young woman who, despite innate talents, suffers from Selective Mutism due to a childhood trauma. When her father, who works for the new Metropolitan Museum of Art, gets wrapped up in a supposedly haunted painting, Natalie's world is turned upside down. A sensitive young woman who has always wondered about the supernatural, she has no idea how profoundly her curiosity is only the tip of a terrifying iceberg of dark magic. The portrait of young Lord Jonathon Denbury is no ordinary painting. Inside that canvass is a trapped soul, while a body possessed is terrorizing New York's infamous Five Points. Its up to Natalie and her newfound guide, the wealthy and compelling caretaker of the painting, Mrs. Evelyn Northe, to solve the mystery of the curse and up to Natalie alone to reverse it. All while on a ticking clock; the soul of Lord Denbury is fading. The harrowing mystery must be solved before more murders take place, and Natalie must find the courage to not only stare a demon in the face, but to use her most hidden of all gifts; her own voice.
With ties to my favourite 19th century novels, this series will create common ground for those who love the classics and those who love YA/Teen paranormal fiction. I get to maintain my background in and my profound love of Victorian-era stories, continue with my theme of unusual, unique, underdog heroines; as Natalie is a strong and vibrant character despite her disability, and weave in the sort of dark, lyrical, fantastical paranormal reality that I love most in storytelling. For those of you who have loved the Strangely Beautiful saga, I promise you this will appeal to you as well. While entirely new; it will feel familiar; a different dress out of a similar fabric, creating a fresh design from my favourite materials.
The series will release in Trade Paperback format, as well as in digital, from Sourcebooks and their Teen Fire line. I'm very, very excited. My editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, is fabulous, and the Sourcebooks team is a thrilling cast of individuals passionate about the book arts. Follow Sourcebooks on Twitter, Paul their Fire publicist, and Danielle their Romance publicist, they've got a lot of exciting things going on. Those of you who love YA fiction check out the Teen Fire forum.
Blessings and thanks for your support along the way! I couldn't do it without my committed readers, friends and fans. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to continue writing the fantastical stories that keep me up at night for the love of them.