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Get Your Red-Hot News Here!

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

Dear internet: I know that I’ve been teasing some news Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Clare and I have (and excellent news it is!) and then we were told we couldn’t release said news until next week and had to cruelly deny you all. I am so sorry about the cruel denial!

But I do still have news. It does not involve the other two fabulous ladies, but I still hope you will LIKE IT.

So, here is the news: I have a NEW BOOK COMING OUT to tell you guys about.

I was on the phone with Anne Hoppe, the lovely editor at Harper Collins who edited mine and Justine Larbalestier’s TEAM HUMAN. She asked me about things I had been writing and thinking about writing.

… Now, when a lovely editor asks you this question, it is MUCH LIKE when a dreamy boy/girl/whoever strikes your fancy asks you if you are single. It is good news. So we chattered idly about all my ideas. Poor Anne, she wasn’t to know that I always have, at a conservative estimate, one million ideas at any time. We went through these one million ideas.

SARAH: And then there’s werewolves.
ANNE: I’m kinda tired of werewolves.
SARAH: As Plato said, she who is tired of werewolves is tired of life. However… you know how I like to tell stories about books I have read and TV shows I have seen, until said stories take on a LIFE OF THEIR OWN?
ANNE: Oooh, do you mean you’d like to do a retelling?
SARAH: Yes! You’re like an editor detective.

I was in a pool once (fancy I know!) with Cassie Clare, and we were discussing A TALE OF TWO CITIES, which is both of our favourite Dickens novel. (This is just the kind of nerdery one gets with writer friends. Possibly my favourite day in France, aside from the Kitten Adopting Day, was when Cassie gave a dramatic reading of Captain Wentworth’s letter from PERSUASION.)

This conversation lasted for hours. We went all pruny. Pruny with LOVE FOR LITERATURE. A TALE OF TWO CITIES is a fairly important element in a few of Cassie’s novels, and one of our discussion points, about what got ladies of the time hot beneath the petticoat–I mean, about the changing perception of what is deemed attractive and about book boyfriends and what, shut up, we’re classy ladies–made it into one of her books.

Many other things we discussed, and that I have discussed with others about A TALE OF TWO CITIES since then, kept lingering in my mind.

SARAH: So, A Tale of Two Cities has this scene where one guy is accused of a crime, and then his lawyer’s helper, who is lounging about being drunk and disreputable as usual, whips off his wig and is like ‘We’re coincidental lookalikes! Who can SAY who did the crime? How do you like them lookalike apples!’
ANNE: That scene did… happen, but… I’ve never heard it described that way before.
SARAH: The thing is, Anne. I don’t believe in coincidences.
SARAH: I have one word for you. DOPPELGANGERS.

In folklore, a doppelganger is the double of a living person, who represents evil, misfortune… sometimes the person’s coming death. This is, undeniably, cool.

Also in A Tale of Two Cities, the heroine Lucie spends a lot of time reacting to exciting stuff happening to her–Surprise! Your father has been released from prison! Surprise! The French Revolution!–and I thought it would be fun to write a girl who has a very active hand in what is going on.

So, in 2014, I will be publishing a modern retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, with magic. The working title for this book is TELL THE WIND AND FIRE.

It is taken from a quote from A Tale of Two Cities, which goes like this.

‘Tell the wind and fire where to stop… but don’t tell me.’

Unstoppable ladies and evil doubles coming your way in 2014, is what I’m saying. I hope you guys are even a hundredth as excited as I am!


( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 3rd, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely news!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
So... A Tale of Two Cities but with more humor and less Victorian-era stereotypes about reactive female roles?

Oooh, that sounds fun.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
Also, MAGIC. ;)

I hope so!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
I frothed on Tumblr about this already, but I'm excited enough for two comments! I remember A Tale of Two Cities with both great fondness and confusion because I read an abridged version when I was about eight years old and was mostly stuck on the guillotining and the knitting. I'll have to read it properly now.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
It's super good, so I recommend reading it, but having read it will not be necessary to the book, which will (hopefully, you never know with my books) make sense on its own...
(no subject) - swevene - Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 3rd, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
This is super exciting news! I always love having a new book of yours to look forward to :)
Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you. I am now like--two books a year, that's the ticket! 2013 will only have one, UNAMBITIOUS, young lady!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
Holy crap! This sounds like a double truckload of fun! I hope you found a way to fit in that awesome fight scene between England and France, i.e. "the two old ladies" there toward the end of the book because I'd sure like to see your take on THAT.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
Whee that is fab news! Plus great working title!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, no, but I don't want to read A Tale of Two Cities! I decided (based on almost no evidence) (at the age of nine) that I would hate it, even though I have since got on pretty well with Bleak House. But I want to be Properly Prepared for amazing heroines and evil doppelgangers, because those are definitely among my literary kryptonites. Sigh. *places on hold at library*

Dickens aside, I am super excited about this novel! I still want to know next week's news... but this is a *really excellent* substitute.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
You can read the book without having read Tale of Two Cities, promise. ;)
(no subject) - cachinna - Dec. 4th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foxglove_chant - Dec. 6th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 3rd, 2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
That is an excellent title, and also excellent news!

And as all the world knows, I think doppelgangers are awesome. <g> So it's a hat-trick of excellence!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! New book!

You may actually get me to read Dickens - I had pretty much written him off since Great Expectations angered me so...
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
It's so awesome that you're at the point now where you can just pitch an idea and someone will say, "Yeah, we'll publish that!" How many books did you have to have published before the higher ups started giving you the benefit of the doubt like that?
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
It wasn't quite like that, bit more tricky. Um, generally, publishing goes a bit like this... you can have a multi-book contract based on one book that's not for a series, a sort of 'hey, and we'll take another' and then you have a discussion about what it'll be specifically later on. Or you can have an editor approach you/your agent and be like, 'hey girl how about it, with specifics' and you see if you can work something out.

To get a brand new shiny contract you usually need a specific idea which you write out a proposal for/write a book for.

Um. So sorry! /end rambly boring description of job!
(no subject) - adaptation - Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)

More books, please. THough please don't leave us hanging in the Lynburn Legacy...

By the way, I put a copy of Unspoken in the hands of this amazing lady recently... I'll have to be sure to find out how she liked it. (She was a guest at a recent local convention.)
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
Aw, awesome and thank you! Not to worry, Untold's all finished, and though Unbroken will probably come out after Tell the Wind, it won't be at all delayed by it. ;) Thank you for thinking of it!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
Eek! My previous comment was marked as Spam! It is not spam! It's praise!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
Dec. 4th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
So excited for you!!!
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( 54 comments — Leave a comment )


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