For readers unfamiliar with American Sign Language, I should explain that “PAH!” is often used by signers as a written shorthand for the ASL sign that translates best into English as “At last!” or “Finally!” (so-called because of the distinctive mouthing of “pah!” that goes with the sign).
Today this sign is very relevant, because I CAN FINALLY SHARE THE NEWS I HAVE BEEN SITTING ON FOR MONTHS! And it’s this: my debut Young Adult novel will be published by HarperCollins in 2016! You can read the full announcement here.
My wonderful agent, Steven Malk of Writers House, has worked long and hard to get us to this point, and without him this quite literally would not be happening. (Another writer recently called him “The King of All Agents”, and, having worked with him, I can tell you that this is no exaggeration.) Steven sold the book in a two-book deal to Alexandra Cooper at HarperTeen, and I am so excited to be working with her to get the book ready for publication.
“What’s the title?” you’re asking. Well…I’ll let you know when I do. 🙂 As is pretty common in today’s publishing world, the title is in flux.
“So what’s it about?”, you say. That I can answer: It’s about a land where writing is the sacred privilege of a few, and a slave girl, Raisa, who gets the extraordinary chance to learn the language of the gods when she becomes a royal tutor. But her dreams are threatened by her forbidden love for the prince, and her loyalty is tested by the Resistance, who urges her to join in the fight for her people’s freedom. It’s about the consequences of following your heart, and learning to trust yourself and other people.
This has been a long, long time in coming. (The first draft of this book was written when I was childless, and I am now the mother of a nine-year-old.) So many people have been a part of this journey, whether they read drafts, tolerated my whining on Facebook, or just asked “Hey, what are you working on?” and didn’t glaze over at my answer. I will tell some of those stories here in the coming months, now that I can FINALLY TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK! Seriously, I didn’t keep it a secret for more than 24 hours when I found out I was pregnant with my son – this has been torture!
But for now, I will say thank you, and go jump up and down a lot. PAH, indeed.