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!