Saturday, January 7, 2012

On Scholastic

A lot of us fondly remember our Scholastic catalogues from our kid and teen years. Well, I know I do. My mom remembers hers fondly too. The fairs and catalogues were like Christmas, picking out something we longed for and then the thrill of it coming in, then unpacking those boxes of treasures that would transport us to any number of worlds.

I started writing my first novel at around the age of 12, when I was still getting those catalogues at school. I never admitted the thought of "what would it be like if one of my books was in there...?" That was too far-fetched a thought for me to actively desire it. I had no concept of the industry that would lead to one getting one's work in said catalogue, nor could I have quite imagine the scope of the 20 years it would take until it happened.

Those catalogues and fairs passed out of my life and I hadn't thought much about them until I moved to New York City, torn between being an actress and an author, and gave tours around the city on big red buses for my day job. We'd pass the Scholastic headquarters and I'd fondly rhapsodize for the tourists about those catalogues, about my beloved Harry Potter, I'd tell the story of a struggling J. K. Rowling and her quest for publication to make me feel better and then secretly I'd yearn for a day that fond familiar logo might just be on one of my books too.

You know that moment when you don't realize just how much something means to you until it's staring you in the face? That happened last week when Sourcebooks sent me an author copy of the upcoming Scholastic edition of DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, my YA debut in the Magic Most Foul trilogy of Gothic historical paranormal novels set right here in New York City in 1880. I admit, when I opened the package it was like Christmas all over again, like opening those boxes from Scholastic, only this time my name was next to that logo. And then I cried a little. I could hear twelve-year old me go "Really?! Is this for real?". And while a world of experience separates me from that girl, the love of writing developed at that age remains as vibrant as ever.

This edition is extra shiny with two layers of foil, so it literally glows. It's really incredible, and impossible to capture on camera. But trust me. IT GLOWS. (Which is very fitting for the paranormal elements in the book). I am not sure what month this year Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul will be available from Scholastic, so those of you involved in fairs at your schools, keep your eyes open! :)

My day of receiving these books was only heightened by finding out that DARKER STILL had gone into a second printing! Thanks friends for your support! And this good news was capped by a third squee, as I walked into Barnes & Noble Union Square, I saw that it's been placed out on their "Can't Miss Books" section on the Teen Fiction tables. It would seem the good omens- not just bad ones- come in threes. So if you're looking for DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul at your local B & N, check the "Can't Miss Books" table. And I know I mentioned that Darker Still is on the American Booksellers Association INDIE NEXT list as a recommended title, here's the link to the official catalogue, in the Teen Reads section.

So, on Scholastic, I say this: To everyone who has held a dream like mine, the dream of someday creating the magic yourself that was once only created by others, to someday be a part of that grand storytelling tradition of feeding youthful imaginations, hold that candle-flame close to your heart and tend its precious fire. You never know when you're going to become a part of something that was once sacred to you, and join that circle of age-old tales told anew. Hold tight. Persevere. Your dreams want to meet you.


costume mama said...

Leanna - this is fantastic! I've already told my daughter we need to look for your books, and I'll check for Darker Still at the next book fair at our middle school!!

Emily Heaney

Jennifer McAndrews said...

Leanna, I'm completely kindred in the fond memories of Scholastic books during grade school. It felt almost like magic, didn't it? So I totally understand how special it must feel to have your book placed with them. BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!! (and I agree -- the Scholastic version is waaaay shinier *s*)

GinaRosati said...

I'm so excited for you, Leanna! If they don't provide you with a flyer, let me know - I'll send you the first flyer I see DARKER STILL in.

Cheryl Reif said...

How beautiful! I'll definitely be looking for this one. Congratulations!