YA readers will have an opportunity to learn how authors conceptualize and write fiction, from start to finish, when Lerner Publishing Group releases (in spring 2012) a collection of YA stories written by Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver and Linger), together with her colleagues Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement, Razorbill, fall 2010) and Tessa Gratton (Blood Magic, Random House, summer 2011). The stories originally appeared on the three authors’ blog, Three Merry Sisters of Fate. The as-yet-untitled release, which will be published under the Carolrhoda Lab imprint, will also include private emails, tweets, and IMs among the three, discussing and critiquing each other’s work as they develop and revise their stories.
Andrew Karre, editorial director for Carolrhoda Books and Carolrhoda Lab, describes the project as in line with the Lab imprint’s mission: publishing books that push boundaries in YA fiction. “Passionate teen readers” are as interested in process as they are in the finished product, Karre insists, and they also “expect and appreciate” access to their favorite authors on the blogosphere. Teen readers are sophisticated enough, he adds, to realize the amount of hard work that goes into writing a story, even for the most critically acclaimed authors.
Karre recalls first encountering Stiefvater’s work in 2005 while he was editorial director at Flux, a Llewellyn YA imprint. Not satisfied with a manuscript she had submitted that nevertheless appealed to him, he asked Stiefvater to make major revisions, dropped the project, then asked her a year later to make more revisions. The novel, Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception, was eventually published by Flux in 2008.
Stiefvater’s next novel, Shiver, which Scholastic published last year, propelled the author to YA author stardom, with more than 400,000 copies sold to date, and rights sold in 32 countries. The first print run for Linger, a July release, was 200,000 copies.
Describing Stiefvater as one of the “hardest working and most artistically flexible" authors he’s ever worked with, Karre expressed admiration for her professionalism and willingness to write and revise as needed.
Stiefvater will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Kidlitosphere literary blogging conference, which will take place in Minneapolis at Open Book on October 23. Karre is one of the Minneapolis-based editors organizing this year’s conference.