Deal Announcements feature my most recent deal as an agent and the story behind it. Writers and readers should experience how an agent knows when they’ve struck gold and sign an author, the beginning of the journey to publication.
In a deal at Skyhorse Publishing’s children’s imprint, Sky Pony Press, Alison Weiss bought world rights to Tara Sim’s debut LGBTQ steampunk trilogy, the Timekeeper. The three-book deal was brokered by Laura Crockett at TriadaUS Literary Agency. The series, set in an alternate Victorian era in which time in each city is controlled by a clock tower, follows teenage prodigy clock tower mechanic Danny. Hoping to save his father, who is trapped in a town outside of London, Danny is also battling a force seeking to destroy all of the towers and stop time. The first book in the series is slated for fall 2016.
Tara’s story is much longer than mine, but I’m still compelled to share it. It’s not only the first deal I’ve made in my career as an agent, but I also think writers should see an agent’s side of the story. Writers should want an agent to cheer them on 100% from the very beginning.
Once upon a time . . .
One early November day, I received Tara’s query. I quickly deduced what kind of book it was — historical fantasy — without her having to state the genre repeatedly: “Set in an alternate Victorian era” (historical fiction, steampunk vibes) and “[Danny’s] apprentice was not a boy but the clock spirit” (gay romance). But what intrigued me was the concept of time. Clocks control time? Literally? Okay. Sure. Let’s see what she’s got.
Guys, I was sucked in.
I begged for her to send me the full manuscript, as my requested sample chapters weren’t enough. It was Thanksgiving Day when I read it, and I didn’t want to stop and catch up with my family. No, I wanted to read about Danny and his predicament, about his forbidden relationship with Colton, about the mysterious and heart-pounding bombings across England, making their way to Enfield / Colton’s tower. It was all I could talk about at the dinner table, this manuscript I was reading by this brilliant writer.
I talked about it so much that day it left an impression. Come Christmas my family asked about the book again. “Did you sign her? Is she your author now?” Believe me, everyone, I was ecstatic to say yes, Tara was my author. She called me a few days prior to accept my offer of representation, so you can say it was a great Christmas gift.
And the rest . . . is history.
Congratulations, Tara! You’re going to be a published author!