I'm thrilled and delighted and just plain excited to tell you that I've signed on to do two more young adult books for Delacorte. These will follow BANISHED (October '10) and UNFORSAKEN (October '11), probably in fall '12 and '13. I don't know what they're going to be about yet, and that's actually kind of exciting. There's something sparkly and wonderful about a book that's still just a little thought-cloud, a sense of possibility that's both exhilarating and inspiring.
This deal means even more to me because BANISHED went through a lot of rewriting and revising before we all agreed it was ready. I will be honest with you: I had a lot to learn about writing for young adults when I turned in that first book. When BANISHED comes out in a couple of months, it will be a very different story from what it used to be, and far better: tighter, more focused, more suspenseful, and more compelling.
My wonderful editor, Stephanie Elliott, worked really hard with me through several revisions and I credit her with fixing what was frankly a problematic book. At any point, she could have (and was probably tempted to!) thrown her hands up in despair and pitched the whole project; instead she kept coming back and trying again.
I kind of shiver and feel faint when I think of what might have happened without her help. I shed more than a few tears over this book; I had days when I doubted my ability to make it work. But I didn't give up and neither did Stephanie and neither did Barbara, who was always ready to talk through the latest edits. I am really big on thinking of my books as team projects and it's never been more true than with BANISHED.
The fact that we went on to do a second book together and now look forward to two more is, i think, one of my proudest milestones on my writing journey. It's just one more example of what is, in the end, a simple formula for writing success:
work passionately + love your job + listen to smart people + don't give up = published book you can be proud of
Here's the deal report from Publisher's Marketplace:
Children's: Young Adult
Sophie Littlefield's next two untitled paranormal young adult novels, following her zombie novels BANISHED and UNFORSAKEN, to Stephanie Elliott at Delacorte, in a two-book deal, by Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman Agency (NA).