Original storytelling and diverse voices are keystones of Melissa de la Cruz Studio, a new collaboration between Disney Publishing Worldwide and bestselling author de la Cruz. The joint venture will seek out debut and acclaimed authors to create original content, with the goal of further developing these stories across multiple platforms for a global audience.
De la Cruz will work with the Disney editorial team, including her longtime editor, Emily Meehan, v-p and publisher of Disney Hyperion and new intellectual property, to build the list. The author, whose series and standalone books have been published in more than 20 countries, is well versed in cross-platform projects. Her Disney credits include the vampire series Blue Bloods, the historical fantasy epic The Ring and the Crown, and 29 Dates, a romantic comedy about a Korean exchange student, which is scheduled to become a feature-length movie on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+. She is also the author of the Isle of the Lost series of novels, based on the Disney Channel’s Descendants universe. Upcoming projects include a bridge novel for the next season of the Disney+ series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and a new Blue Bloods series that will debut in fall 2021 with Blue Bloods: The Return.
“Since she has long been a part of our Disney Publishing Worldwide family, we have seen firsthand how Melissa cultivates a story and develops content for multiple platforms and media,” Meehan said. “Her strong creative vision will inspire the next generation of bestsellers and content creators for entertainment beyond the pages of a book. Like Melissa herself, who has written in many different genres and is the author of more than 50 books, the studio will reflect an interest in anticipating, driving, and setting current pop culture trends for the Disney global audience.”
De la Cruz anticipates that the new program will encompass a wide array of fiction mirroring her various literary interests and styles. “The Melissa de la Cruz Studio will reflect my own brand of humor, escapism, romance, and adventure in genres ranging from contemporary to fantasy,” she said. “The studio aims to work with a diverse group of emerging and established authors for readers of all ages, from picture books to adult, with a primary focus on middle grade and YA.” De la Cruz was represented in the deal by Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment and Ellen Goldsmith Vein at the Gotham Group.
Eager to open this new chapter in her career, the author added, “Disney Publishing has been the home for many of my novels throughout the years and I am so thankful to continue the collaboration. I am beyond thrilled to forge a new journey with the team, full of even more incredible opportunities, nestled within the Walt Disney Company powerhouse. It is a dream come true.”