Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

New Deals

Both Victoria Schwab and Jessica Young have inked contracts on new series fiction for children and young adults

In a recent report on the rise of children’s and YA titles as a percentage of publishing profits, The New York Times reported some surprising numbers: “Revenue from children’s and young adult books jumped 30 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, adult fiction and nonfiction sales dipped nearly 4 percent, according the Association of American Publishers.”

These were surprising numbers, that is, to everyone except authors of books for children and young adults. In the past month alone, Nashville-based writers Jessica Young and Victoria Schwab have signed deals for new books—never mind that both already have a boatload of newly released titles as well as books that will appear in 2015.

Young, author of the picture book My Blue is Happy, has five titles set to appear in 2015—four in the Finley Flowers series of chapter books for second-fourth graders. A fifth book, Spy Guy:Not So Secret Agent, is due in May. Now she has signed a deal for a new series with illustrator James Burks. According to Publishers Weekly, “The first title in the deal, Haggis and Tank Unleashed, follows a clumsy Great Dane and her best friend, a Scottie, as they head out on a pirate adventure.” Literary agent Kelly Sonnack told PW that the book is “full to the brim with clever wordplay.”

Schwab, author of four YA titles and a fantasy book for adults (Vicious), branched into middle-grade fiction this year with three titles in the Everyday Angel series. Next year will bring another adult title to print (A Darker Shade of Magic, due from Tor in winter 2015), and she has just signed a two-book deal to return to YA fantasy. According to PW, “Monster tells the story of a teen boy and girl who never should have met, since their fathers are rival leaders of a divided city where violence breeds literal monsters. Conspiracies and betrayals send the teens on the run for their lives, but together, they could become each other’s worst nightmare.” Look for it in 2016.