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.
I’m thrilled to announce the publication of Tasha Suri’s Empire of Sand!
Hachette Book Group associate editor Sarah Guan acquired world English rights to a debut fantasy novel by Tasha Suri. According to HBG, Suri was inspired to write Empire of Sandby Mughal-Indian history. The novel, HBG said, “is the story of a nobleman’s illegitimate daughter and a vow-bound mystic who both possess the rare ability to compel the dreams of sleeping gods.” Suri was born in the U.K., but toured India during childhood holidays. She is now a librarian in London, and studied English and creative writing at Warwick University. Laura Crockett of TriadaUS brokered the deal. Empire of Sand will be released in the fall under HBG’s Orbit Books imprint.
Once upon a time…
It was late June when I received a query for a 15th-century Mughal-Indian-inspired fantasy. The query was beautifully written, and the sample provided opened with an interesting scene and premise, setting the stage for what I hoped to be a gorgeous fantasy. I needed more.
One early August afternoon, I finished reading the gorgeous fantasy. Natasha’s writing was lush and stunning, and I couldn’t help thinking her style was a perfect blend of traditional atmospheric fantasy a la Juliet Marillier and Roshani Chokshi. The magic was unique yet familiar, rooted in tradition and lore, and the romance was so achingly beautiful and classic I couldn’t help but sigh over the two. I had to call and offer. Immediately. And she accepted!
There was something about this project that made me think it would sell quickly, too. Agents always think their clients’ work will sell quickly — we believe in them, we love their stories — but it really comes down to wowing editors. Her project felt right for crossover audiences, so I sent it out with a bang all over the board. It was a month between offering representation and putting it on submission, and another month till we received a very enthusiastic offer from a publisher.
The offer prompted an auction. On Diwali. Do you realize how important and amazing that was for Tasha and her family? And by the end of the day, we knew exactly where EMPIRE OF SAND would find a home.
This was a huge deal for everyone involved. My first auction, landing a deal on Diwali for Tasha, and announcing the deal on Lunar New Year for Sarah. What a trio!
And the rest…is history.
Congratulations, Tasha! You’re going to be a published author!
EDIT: For more information about EMPIRE OF SAND, check out the acquisition announcement from Orbit!