Friday, July 16, 2010

*thrill thrill thrill thrill thrill thrill thrill thrill* (another book announcement!)

I hinted recently at more unfolding wonderfulness, and here it is! Daughter of Smoke and Bone has sold UK/Commonwealth rights to the AMAZING Kate Howard at the AMAZING Hodder & Stoughton, who have totally rocked my world. I'm such a goob about all things business, that it didn't totally register with me that my wonderful agent, Jane Putch, had held onto UK rights (psst, writers, in the "to agent or not to agent" question, I come down firmly on the "agent" side!), but man, I'm so glad she did. The experience so far with H&S has been Awesome Part II, following on the heels of the overflowing Awesome that is Little, Brown.

Today H&S's announcement came out at

H&S acquires hot trio by Laini Taylor
16.07.10 | Catherine Neilan

Hodder & Stoughton has bought a "hotly pursued crossover novel", tentatively entitled, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Encouraged by "extraordinary levels of excitement" from within Hodder, Kate Howard, senior editor, flew out to Los Angeles to meet agent Jane Putch, president of Eyebait Licensing, to win the book. Howard took a number of items relating to the story—a jar filled with paper wishes from Hodder staff, a wishbone necklace and a large sketch book detailing the publishing strategy—in support of her bid and secured British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to three novels altogether. She said she was "over the moon to be the UK editor for her books".

Howard added: "Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a magnificent book, which grabbed me from the opening page, and had everyone at Hodder completely enthralled. The book’s macabre fairytale feel is incredibly inventive and original, and the fantasy is wonderfully creative yet extremely accessible.

"I felt the same way about it as I felt when I read His Dark Materials and Twilight—that shiver of excitement knowing I was reading something outstanding. It’s a brilliant novel, with a feisty heroine who I know will resonate with readers young and old, male and female."

Putch said: "Hodder, Kate Howard and the entire acquisition team simply bowled us over. After the remarkable, savvy and thoughtful presentation, we knew we had found the right home."

Taylor has written three previous books, the most recent of which, Lips Touch: Three Times, was a silver medal finalist for the 2009 National Book Award.

Hodder will publish in hardcover next autumn and will support the launch with "a large-scale, sustained and innovative consumer campaign".

Little, Brown Young Readers US also fought off "stiff competition", winning the novel at auction. It will be published with a big launch next autumn.

* * *

There is so much to look forward to in the next couple of years, it's kind of overwhelming. I said before this is my writer's daydream, my fairy tale come true, only it's so much bigger than my daydream now, I have this sense of years ahead of filling the gratitude well and trying to deserve it. The best thing a verklempt writer can do NOW is sit at her little desk or cafe table and typety-type, clackety-clack, and keep the words unspooling from whatever mystical spool they are spun upon. So here I sit, at *my* cafe, with my 20 ounces of bean juice and the beginning of a new chapter. Whew.

Thank you so much, so much, so much to Kate Howard and Hodder & Stoughton, and of course, once again, to Jane Putch, who dreams big -- a good trait in an agent! (psst, another aside to [children's/YA] writers on the agent question, I met Jane in the course of ordinary schmoozing networking at the annual SCBWI conference in Los Angeles, which is the MOST AMAZING TIME and happens to be coming right up, July 30-August 2; if you can possibly go, GO. If you can't possibly go, GO.)

A few other little thingamies:

--A very cool graphic anthology that Jim and I contributed to is just about to hit the stands! It's Fractured Fables from Shadowline Comics, and it's kid-friendly. Our story, "Spanking Robots" is a very short robot-Pinocchio interpretion. This book is FULL of great art and fun stories. Check it out!

-- German Lips Touch!!! This is my first-ever new cover; that is, I've had a couple of foreign editions so far, but they used the same covers as US, so this is the first time I've seen a wholly new incarnation of one of my books. Pretty cool! Looks like the title is "The Forbidden Kiss."(thank you, Jim, for sending :-)

-- Because it is so important that you know this, my hair is newly empinked, and not only that, it is FLIPPY and SASSY.

-- I am listening to Niyaz right now, which is Iranian music trio including Azam Ali of Vas (who might be my perfect musical accompaniment for the current book); they describe themselves thus:

Niyaz's music, described as "mystical music with a modern edge"[3], is primarily a blend of Sufi mysticism and trance electronica.[1][2] Niyaz adapts Persian, Indian and Mediterranean folk sounds, poetry and songs including the poetry of Sufi mystic Rumi, with Western electronic instrumentation and programming.

-- Woke to a google-chat this morning to a dear friend who happens to be in a villa in Provence right now, ooh la la; the babies peered at each other across continents and oceans, and my bed head was captured in all its glory.

-- Maybe my favorite writer's advice list EVER, certainly the one that resonates the most with me, as "my kind of writing"; from Janet Fitch, via the L.A. Times. So good. Especially #1 and #9.

-- Lastly, a new favorite reader email, from 13-year-old JB:

How dare you write so well.
The following is all your fault:
Me scouring every bookstore within 30 miles for Silksinger. (i never found it and will never forgive the bookstores)
Me breaking my code of library conduct and asking for Silksinger from a different library.
Me forcing my unfortunate mom to drive me to the library every day until it arrived.
Me reading it thru the rode home and dinner, finishing it, eating two soybeans and one slice of watermelon, crying for four minutes, and picking it up and reading it all over again.
Me sleeping with it and my copy of blackbringer ( i woke up with square imprints on my neck).
How dare you help inspire me to be a writer instead of the excellent evil villain I would have made. My minions are now destined to be pencils instead of mutants.
And how dare you consider making me pause in the devilishly good middle of silksinger to email you.

Thank you, JB! The sitting-at-the-computer part of writing (that is, like 98% of it!) is all the more worth it when broken up by receiving emails like this (and, er, announcements like the H&S one above) :-)

Happy day, all!


Natalie Whipple said...

Weee! Great news! Congrats, Laini!

Victoria Schwab said...


Stacy said...

Wonderful News! and Pursuant to JB's email I get my 2 year old in the tub get her all clean and then read Silksinger while she plays - this means I often have one hand in the tub. I'm nearly done and I already feel like I miss the characters.

Unknown said...

Oh, I LOVE that fan mail!

And hurrah for the book news! Love that the editor flew over with stuff!

Laura S. said...

Wow, that 13 year old is on his/her way to becoming a compelling writer! What a great email to read in the midst of writing. :)

Congrats on all your fabulous and exciting news!!!

Jaime Temairik said...


lkmadigan said...


Candyland said...

Awesome! Congrats!

johanna said...

Yahooozle! Great news!!!!

mel said...

seriously AWESOME news...totally jazzed on your behalf..:)

thanks for the agent vs. not-agent chime-in....kinda pondering that one just now so i'll take your post as one vote from the universe...

that reader email is brilliant -- i was SO that kid...

would now be an awkward time to mention i never did get my copy of (the english version) Lips Touch...*grin*

cheers and congrats once again!! you are an inspiration!!

BJW said...

: ) This is a wonderful thing to read before starting my writing today. Grazie.

Debbie Barr said...

Yay for more awesomeness! And that fan e-mail is just adorable.

Laini Taylor said...

Agg! Mel, what happened is this: there was an insane holiday line at the post office, so I sent from the machine, which couldn't post internationally, so I had to set yours aside; after that, it fell entirely out of my brain. Please email me a reminder of your address. So sorry!!!!!!!!!!!

(Thank you, everyone, for the happy wishes :-)

Jennie Bailey said...

Congratulations! That is great news. I can hardly wait for the book. I'm super excited to read it! And thanks for the mention of Niyaz. Listening to them right now and they are awesomeness plus!

Charlotte said...

Wow, what wonderfulness! Congratulations!

Author Scott Nicholson said...

That is amazing! Dreams are real!

Scott Nicholson

Lisa Schroeder said...

Woooooo hooooooooo!!!

I must say, it feels a bit like I'm watching history in the making, Laini!! So happy for you!!! xo

tone almhjell said...

Wh...what's going on here? Laini, what is going ON? I have chills now. This is so amazing, it's scary.


They flew to LA to win it? With a jar? What? Whatever it is you are doing in front of that computer these days, dear, keep doing it. Magic magic magic, three times over!!!

amy said...

Congratulations to you!!! OH MY! I LOVE the pic of Clementine with word balloon. Just SO good.

Stephanie Perkins said...


"a jar filled with paper wishes from Hodder staff, a wishbone necklace and a large sketch book detailing the publishing strategy"

OF COURSE THEY DID! Because Daughter is amazing!! And they *HAD* to have it!

Tra la la!!!!!!!!

cdconahan said...

Yow! Cool! (and Of Course...)
You guys are super, and super-brilliant. You deserve this!

April Henry said...

That is such wonderful news!


Megsie said...

Congratulations Laini!!! Did I read THREE BOOKS altogether? Woot! Write fast because I can't wait! By the way, I felt the same way as JB when I was reading your Dreamdark books this summer (except for the becoming a writer part). I am so, so happy for you and all of your success! said...

Best. Fan mail. EVER!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you! I wish you even more success to come.
Your writing advice has been invaluable to me. :)

persnickety_jen said...

Hooray! How cool that the foreign rights to your books are selling - book tours are going to get that much more exciting!

Can I possibly hold out until next autumn to read the new book? We'll see... ;)

Talei said...

Fantastic news and congrats!! And thanks for sharing your favourite writers list ever, really makes sense. Happy writing! ;)

Katie Johnston said...


I am so, SO excited to read this book! Lips Touch is my favourite book of... possibly ever (I reviewed it here: but it's less a review and more of a spazzy GUSH) and I'm busy forcing everyone else I know to read it too. Your world-building (and your word-building) just blow me away. Magic.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Katie! I just read your post and I LOVE it. It's clear from your writing that you love language, and I love that you use your love of language to talk about my love of language. :-) Also, from your profile (zombies, Buffy, etc), I think we are kindred souls. You are bookmarked!

Jessica (or JB, i suppose) said...

Thanks, laini and comment readers. You guys rock. I'm already writing.

Katie Johnston said...

Oh, thank you! Thank you for writing such a beautiful book! And for Not For Robots, which has helped my writing more than I could tell you. I'm fangirling LIKE CRAZY over here.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there is just so much amazing stuff in this post. Congratulations, Laini. I'm loving watching you shine. :)|


Laini Taylor said...

Hi Jessica! Thanks for stopping in :-) Keep writing. You have the mind for it!

Amber said...

Amazing! Happy for you!
This email rocks. But are you not going tell the poor child that you juggle both evil, and writing? It can be done, as you well know, madam!

:) ox

ChristyG said...

Amazing, amazing, amazing! And so well-deserved. Congratulations! Wow, this is mega Big Leagues stuff. So very cool, and so very inspiring. Can't wait to read the new book.

Katie Anderson said...

I don't even know what to say... Chills.

I can't wait to read this new book of yours. I just know it will be incredible!

Molly Hall said...

Wonderful wonderful! I'm so happy to read ALL of this. YAY! Also, I just went to the list of 10 rules for writing. That was AWESOME too! It's so fun to hear about your fabulous journey! You are a true inspiration.