Fans of the Parasol Protectorate, Gail Carriger’s five-book sci-fi series, will likely feel a pang of loss when the last book of the series, Timeless, is released in March 2012 and the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti come to a close. But that feeling won’t be around for long because in fall 2013, Orbit, publisher of the Parasol Protectorate series, will be releasing Prudence, a book by Carriger starring none other than Prudence, Alexia’s daughter.
Carriger thought that wrapping up the Parasol Protectorate in five books was right, rather than dragging it out. “I’m one for a tidy ending and a clean series arc,” she told PW. “Which isn’t to say I won’t take up the Parasol Protectorate gauntlet again, but it will probably be a different parasol and a different protectorate.”
While Orbit wouldn’t have objected to a longer series (books two through four were New York Times bestsellers, but Soulless, the first book in the series, remains the top-seller, and the series has sold 250,000 copies to date), Carriger approached her publishers, including Devi Pillai, senior editor at Orbit, with the next best thing: “When Gail came to us suggesting a series with Alexia’s daughter, Prudence, how could we resist?” said Pillai, who acquired Prudence and a second title, Imprudence, in a six-figure deal.
The new deal with Orbit is only one of two between Carriger and Hachette Book Group. Under a second agreement, this one with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Carriger will write a new series set for launch in February 2013 that LBYR says features “an incorrigible young heroine, Sophronia.” Finishing School, which is set in the same world of alternative-reality London as Carriger’s other books but takes place 22 years earlier, is Carriger’s first venture into the teen market. But her track record has LBYR confident she can make the transition to younger readers. “The YA audience will love her,” said LBYR editor Kate Sullivan, who negotiated the four-book deal. “In fact, they already do. Gail’s Soulless was a 2010 ALA Alex award winner, given to adult novels that also have an appeal to younger readers.” The series’ lead title will be Etiquette and Espionage. Both deals were brokered by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.
A third deal between Carriger and Hachette will see the house’s Yen Press release manga adaptations of the Parasol Protectorate books under the title Soulless, to be illustrated by artist Rem. The first volume will be published in March 2012.
All this activity around Carriger will give Hachette ample opportunity to develop what Pillai calls Carriger’s “style.” “The cross-promotional opportunities for all three publishing programs are really exciting. We’re connecting fans of the Parasol Protectorate books to the manga editions through our Facebook channels, and Gail’s own active social media activity,” Pillai said. “Orbit and Yen will be collaborating with LBYR to connect the readerships wherever we can.”