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Monsterville Comes to Life in September of 2016!

August 29, 2015

I am thrilled to announce that Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production will be published by Sky Pony Press, the children’s book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. in September of 2016! I’ve known for quite awhile, but I’ve failed to post the story because: 1) I was busy lawyering (my day job); and 2) it needed to truly sink in.

Monsterville is not my first book. It is not even my first or second book that has been on submission to publishers. People hear the stories of Veronica Roth and Stephenie Meyer (who had success right out the gate); and because of those stories, don’t realize that there are hundreds of writers out there who didn’t sell their work right away. Even worse, some writers get agents and never sell at all. It is heartbreaking for us, because our work is personal. Yes, we want it to turn into a commodity, but we tell stories that matter to us. For a story to ultimately get shelved, sucks – to use a literary term.

After I graduated law school, I started taking writing seriously. I joined Query Tracker (which is amazing – every writer should), joined critique groups, swapped with others, etc. I wrote three full books before landing my first agent; and we parted ways two years later. I started querying (sending a book out to agents) in late October of 2014, and my agent, Lauren Galit of the LKG Agency, was the first to offer in early January. After I signed with her, we went on sub in early April and sold in June to the lovely Alison Wiess (who is from Sleepy Hollow – how perfect is that?) of Sky Pony. I admit it – when I saw my listings in Publishers Weekly and Publishers Marketplace last week, I started cracking up. All in all, it took six years.

And I never gave up. It’s not a work ethic thing, although I have plenty of that. I simply wanted it so badly. There’s also the matter of having already invested so much time, but it was the wanting it that kept me going.

Regarding Monsterville itself, it was only a matter of time before I wrote a book like it. I love Halloween, and I love movies. To the former, I grew up in a rural area (very much like Lissa of Monsterville’s Freeburg, Pennsylvania), and we decorated our house for Halloween despite the absence of trick-or-treaters. Family members own a pumpkin farm, Pumpkin Blossom Hill (I designed the website!), and my cousin Jeff specialized in bloody moving hands and fake graves with funny epitaphs. My mother spent hours on my Halloween costume. And – this is huge – my wedding was on Halloween and Halloween-themed. Every table had a different theme – zombie, Pennywise (from King’s It), ghost, haunted forest, etc. The wedding itself was traditional; we effectively just had a rockin’ Halloween party after it.

To the inspiration of movies, my best memories of childhood is camping with my family and watching movies on a T.V. my dad and his best friend hooked up to an R.V. They let me watch anything – my favorite movie is A Fish Called Wanda, and has been since I was about seven. I saw Terminator when I was five years old, against the backdrop of an Illinois campground, along with many other violent, sexually-charged movies that were in retrospect highly inappropriate. (Whatever – I turned out fine). They did, however, transform me into a movie lover, and my husband and I are very proud of our movie room in our new house. (Our movie posters – Wanda, Ghostbusters, Harry Potter, Rocky, Terminator, Indiana Jones, Star Wars).

MONSTERVILLE is in stores in September ’16 and who knows where it will go? I see Lissa’s story as consisting of three books, and I have a vision for them already. Also, I know that I love my writing, and to write, and I will do everything to make it a success. And I am looking forward to a long relationship with my lovely agent, Lauren Gailt!

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One Comment
  1. SGT MIKE permalink

    Can’t wait to read it!! 🙂

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