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.
Heather Walter’s MALICE, pitched as a queer reimagining of “Sleeping Beauty” in which Alyce, a sorceress whose dark gifts earn her the hatred of a realm, finds an unexpected bond with the last surviving heir whose curse can only be lifted by true love’s kiss — or perhaps by the sorceress herself, to Tricia Narwani at Del Rey, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2021, by Laura Crockett at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world).
Once upon a time…
Back in January 2018 I received a Snow White villain retelling/prologue that I quickly requested…and then life happened. It wasn’t until May that I sat down, read it in one fell swoop, fell in love even though Heather crushed my soul and blew my mind with the ending, and immediately offered representation. We edited and refined the project before sending it out on submission. One editor in particular, Tricia Narwani at Del Rey, provided such long, wonderful, beautiful, detailed feedback — which is near unheard of when an editor is passing on a project, by the way — that Heather took it to heart, was super inspired, and decided to write a whole new villain retelling story while we were on submission with Snow White.
When Heather sent me her Sleeping Beauty villain retelling Malice the following January, I was blown away. Here was a fairytale fantasy that explored what society deemed a monstrous creature, a lesbian fantasy that explored friendship and love, an epic fantasy built from the ground up. I just wanted to hug Alyce and tell her she was great and beautiful and just had a stroke of bad luck, it would be okay, I promise! We went through edits back and forth for a few months to really dig into the world Heather created, to fill those holes and intensify the true villains of the story.
Then we took a deep breath, and jumped into submission. Tricia was at the top of our list. “Let’s make Malice a Del Rey book.”
Come July 2, we did.
And the rest…is history.
Congratulations, Heather! You’re going to be a published author!