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.
Tricia Lin at Simon Pulse has acquired, at auction, Chloe Gong‘s debut YA fantasy These Violent Delights, pitched as a Romeo and Juliet retelling by way of The Godfather. A monster has awakened in 1920s Shanghai, killing off citizens and stirring trouble between two feuding gangs. The rival heirs, Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, must work together before the monster destroys all they hold dear, even while the Chinese Civil War breaks out around them. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Laura Crockett at TriadaUS Literary Agency did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Once upon a time…
In early summer 2018, I received an intricate, complicated, multi-layered, no-way-she’s-a-rising-sophomore query for a gorgeous, thrilling, and dark manuscript that was a blend of historical science fiction fantasy. I was immensely intrigued and requested to read 50 pages…and a week later requested to read the full…and a week after that (which was about two weeks before I left for Greece) I offered representation. I was so blown away by Chloe’s writing, enthusiasm, skill, and intelligence (she’s going to rule the world one day, mark my words) and I knew I had to represent her! Her acceptance was the last email I read before flying out of the country!
Before diving into edits we needed to clear up some matters. I wanted to be sure nothing bad would happen to her academically or legally if we were to publish her work, as she is a student in the US from New Zealand. We spoke with her academic and international advisors to make sure every rule was followed, as well as making sure none of this would complicate her studies. With the green light, we were able to dive into edits, polish this up, and present this to editors across YA and Adult markets. (I mean seriously, it’s that good.)
It was so important that the editor not only connected to the writing and story, but also to the Chinese experiences, to the history of Russia’s pogroms, to the deep understanding of Shanghai’s tumultuous history, to the complicated matters of generational and cultural diaspora. Tricia Lin hustled for this project, and I’m so thrilled she and Chloe will be bringing These Violent Delights into the world!
And the rest…is history.
Congratulations, Chloe! You’re going to be a published author!