A 200-year love triangle between an immortal woman, a Hungarian count, and a Puritan settler forms the centerpiece of Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books’ must-grab galley at BEA, Alma Katsu’s The Taker (Sept.).
Katsu’s first novel—and the first of a hot new trilogy—is Gallery’s only featured title at BEA, demonstrating the in-house excitement behind a supernatural thriller that’s already garnering plenty of advance buzz from its U.K. publication last month and the U.S. book blogging community.
“The Taker is one of those rare books that transcends taste and genre—you know you have something special on your hands when everyone who reads it loves it,” says Louise Burke, executive v-p and publisher. She describes the novel as a cross between Cold Mountain and Interview with a Vampire but “without the vampires.”
While the publisher is hoping for an overnight success when the title releases later this year, the novel itself was a decade in the making. Katsu had always wanted to write but had shelved that aspiration in order to concentrate on her career in the federal government. When she turned 40, however, she developed constant vertigo and found herself limited in ways to pass the time. She began writing longhand, revisiting characters from a story she had started in her 20s.
Katsu will sign at 11 a.m. today at Table 13 in the autographing area. And tomorrow the publisher will be giving away ARCs at its booth (3653) and will also be distributing temporary tattoos that feature an ambigram graphic of The Taker. The author will wrap up the week with a speed-dating session at Book Blogger Con, immediately following BEA.
Now that her debut is here, Katsu doesn’t quite know how to process all the anticipation. “I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” she says.