Introducing . . . Books Four and Five!

The best thing about this? I'm in EMERIL LAGASSE'S kitchen inside the Martha Stewart offices. My friend Heather was like, "Pose with something!" This was my first reaction.




DUTTON KIDS INKS PERKINS TO DOUBLE

Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) signed a world English rights, two-book deal with Dutton Children’s v-p and publisher, Julie Strauss-Gabel. The first book—both will be YA novels—is slated for 2014; per the publisher, it will be a horror novel in the vein of the movie Scream in which a cadre of high school students are being stalked and attacked by a mysterious killer with no obvious motive. Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary represented Perkins in the deal.


TINY EMBARRASSING NOTE: I actually had to look up the word "cadre" this morning. Ha ha! I guess that's why authors don't write their own pitches. For anyone else who needs it, here's Merriam-Webster, definition two: broadly, a group of people having some unifying relationship [a cadre of lawyers].


Oh, MAN. I've been sitting on this news since Valentine's Day!

I'm thrilled about Book Four, and I am so incredibly grateful and humbled that my editor Julie Strauss-Gabel took this enormous leap of faith. A major genre-hop like this isn't exactly what a publisher wants to hear, but Julie was enthusiastic and intuitive from the first email. I'm happy (and relieved!) that we'll be working on this project together. We make a kick-ass team.

Thank you, Julie. This one's gonna be CRAZY. In the best way possible.

I've been a fan of the teen slasher since a friend handed me one of R.L. Stine's Fear Street books in sixth grade. Together, we devoured the entire series as well as everything ever written by Christopher Pike. It was this same friend who introduced me to Scream a few years later.




My love for this film is massive, you guys. I still watch it several times a year. I love how self-aware it is while remaining whip-smart and scary. And INNOVATIVE. There have been many imitators (including—the argument can/should be made—the sequels), but Scream was as meta as get-all-out, and I freaking love it for that.

This movie, this awesome script and cast, turned me into a fan for life.

I devour all genres of horror now, but the slasher remains my favorite. And the attraction makes sense, doesn't it? Teenagers. Humor. Sex. It's not that far off from what I write now. ;-)

Basically, what I'm trying to say is . . .

I AM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS BOOK.

Here are a few quick facts:

Yes, it's a contemporary. The killer is not a supernatural creature. I'm talking about ye old traditional knife-wielding maniac.

Yes, it will be bloody.

Yes, it will be sexy.

Yes, it will be scary.

At least . . . I hope it'll be scary!

I have a few critique partners and family members who have already said they'll have to skip this one. Which is okay! And it's okay if YOU have to skip it, too. Horror is a tough genre to love. (Even tougher to defend.) But for those of you who don't like it—even if it IS a horror with a hot guy, because let's face it, this is a Stephanie Perkins novel—you'll be happy to hear more about my fifth novel:

Anna, Lola, and Isla's stories are complete, but my work-in-progress swings closer to their end of the spectrum. I'm enjoying it so far, though it still has to pass several more tests before it becomes anything official.

Test #1: I have to like the completed manuscript.
Test #2: My critique partners have to like it.
Test #3: My agent has to like it.
Test #4: My editor has to like it.

So I can't say anything more right now, other than it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that Book Five will be another horror.

In related news: I've seen a few people who are upset on Twitter this morning, because, you know, WHAT HAPPENED TO ISLA?!??!?!?!?!??

No worries, friends. Isla and the Happily Ever After is still scheduled to be released in 2013. (No confirmed date, because I'm still working on it.) We're hoping that Book Four will be ready for publication in 2014, and Book Five will be ready in 2015.

Time to wrap this up . . .

Thank you so, so much to my WONDERFUL agent Kate Schafer Testerman who supported this project from the start and turned it into a reality.

Thank you to Kiersten White who—when I complained last summer about not being able to find a particular type of novel to read—said: "So write it yourself."

Thank you to my horror-film freaks and friends: Manning Krull, Marjorie Mesnis, and Jeff Zentner for spending dozens-upon-dozens of hours with me discussing horror theory and criticism. For funsies.

AND THE BIGGEST THANK YOU OF ALL to my husband Jarrod. Thanks for watching the scariest, goriest, cheesiest, bloodiest, worst films that I can find . . . and for laughing all the way.

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