Drawing Fire: Coming from Scholastic in the fall of 2017

Okay so FINALLY I can blab about what I’ve been working on for the last month or so…mostly because once it’s in Publishers Weekly, it’s public info, man. Somewhat hilariously, this public info was disclosed to me on Friday night – so it wasn’t exactly the BEST of all possible time to send big news around the world, if you know what I mean…which is one reason I held off on making a post about it.

This didn’t stop me from tweeting it, natch. But now that it’s Monday, and now that I’m awake (I’ve been a tad under the weather today), and now that I’m back at my laptop, I can regale you with the following info, straight from the horse’s mouth:




    Book Deals: Week of August 10, 2015
    Priest, Masessa Land at Scholastic

    Cheryl Klein at Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books bought world rights to Cherie Priest’s YA novel Drawing Fire. The book, set for fall 2017, was sold by Jennifer Jackson at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Priest is the author of the Clockwork Century series, and her latest YA, I Am Princess X, was published by Scholastic/Levine in May. In Drawing Fire, she follows a girl who discovers a valuable, ancient comic book in the supposedly haunted house her mother is fixing up. Jackson said Drawing Fire will feature panels from the comic book within the book….




So, there you go! Secret project code-named THE AGONY HOUSE is actually another YA book for Scholastic called Drawing Fire! And my deadline is somewhat shockingly soon! But that is a long story, and not really the point! (I’ll elaborate later.)

To answer the biggest looming FAQ: No, Drawing Fire will not be related to I Am Princess X in any way, except that it will likewise be a hybrid of text and comic elements. For a bit of further detail, I’ll give you the quick pitch from the summary that ultimately sold the project. I mean, if you’re curious:




    Denise Farber evacuated New Orleans as a small child, escaping with her mother just hours ahead of Hurricane Katrina. Now she’s back, a teenage stranger in her own home town – where her mother has bought a dilapidated fixer-upper in the 8th ward. The rambling Victorian has everything: mold, bugs, rusted fixtures, and water damage everywhere you look. And you can ask anybody: It’s haunted from top to bottom. That’s why no one’s touched the place in decades.

    But up in the attic there’s a strange old nook behind the chimney bricks; and in that nook lies a string-tied bundle of papers – an epic comic book composed by one of the golden age masters, Joe Vaughn. The project was never published, though it has long been rumored to exist. Agents have hunted for it, lawyers have demanded it, and fans have begged for it.

    But Denise is the first person to see it in sixty-five years. And now, nothing will ever be the same




So! There you have it – another project aimed at young adults, hitting the streets in 2017. I, for one, am pretty damn psyched about it.

I do actually have some word metrics to report, but I’ll admit they’re a little thin so I’ll save them for later. I’ve had a lot going on for the last few days, not that it’s any excuse – but I’ve also been figuring out how, exactly, I’m going to treat/handle the graphic elements in THIS project, as well as what the actual comic story will play out. It’s been tricky, plotsy, fiddly going. But that’s progress too, and sometimes it’s very, very necessary.

At any rate, thanks so much for reading – and I’ll be back with the usual metrics in another day or two, as I finish unraveling a plot knot and/or get my act together over here. You are all awesome, and I appreciate you – each and every one :)

Four walls follow me through my past

Here’s recent progress on one of my projects that I’m not supposed to specify yet, but will probably be able to talk about sometime in the next few weeks, I hope, so my apologies for any and all cryptic nonsense posted here until it comes to light:


    Project: The Agony House
    Deadline: [Redacted]
    New words written: 7655 (multi-day total)
    Present total word count: 21,842



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Finished a draft of chapter four, yay! Also went back and finished chapter three, which I previously had thought was done. But it wasn’t.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: [In general, since last week’s post] Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; supervised playdates with the dog’s friends; drove down to the Marvelous Mr. Tuck in Georgia, and got an old and faded tattoo turned into something entirely fabulous; spent several evenings sorting through soot and bird poop trying to figure out WHAT THE HELL was stuck in our fireplace making all that noise; eventually with help of husband and shop-vac retrieved the entirely unexpected culprit, then put him outside where he wandered off and lived happily ever after, I assume; did a late-night Skype interview with the Skiffy and Fanty podcast folks. It’s been a busy week.

    Publishing Other: I got an early copy of Chapelwood! It is shiny! Or rather it is pleasantly matte, but it is metaphorically shiny.

    Further Publishing Other: YOU GUYS GUESS WHAT – Publishers Weekly liked Chapelwood! You can go read all about it right here! Whew! It’s always a huge relief when the first big reviews out of the gate are good. SUCH A RELIEF. [:: collapses ::]

    ONE MORE BIT of Publishing Other: Ten copies of Chapelwood are up for grabs over at Goodreads! All you have to do is click here to enter the drawing. (US only. My apologies.)

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 77,845

And in closing: Here’s Greyson and Luna.
It’s dog-love, between two dogs.



The world didn’t want me to run

Here’s recent progress on one of my projects that I’m not supposed to specify yet, but will probably be able to talk about sometime in the next few weeks, I hope, so my apologies for any and all cryptic nonsense posted here until it comes to light:


    Project: The Agony House
    Deadline: [Redacted]
    New words written: 4172 (multi-day total)
    Present total word count: 14,187



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Finished a draft of chapter three, yay!

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: [In general, since last week’s post] Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; visit with dad/stepmom and THEIR two dogs, who are also came on the daily jaunts; took a stillhouse tour; ate out a lot; did a bunch of laundry; cleaned house twice; blurbed two books; got a new haircut/color; went to the post office a couple of times; etc. etc. etc.

    Other: So we had company in town for a few days, and I’d be lying if I said I got any work done – but that’s okay. I played catch-up today, and am almost up to an average 1k/day. It’s not great, but it’s better than zilch, eh?

    Writing Other: You guys! Romantic Times really, really, really liked Chapelwood! It’s always a huge relief when the first big/proper/official review out of the gate is a good one. [:: whew ::]

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 70,190

And now for a few dog shots. Because I know what you REALLY come here for.

And one last shot, with Bonus! Greyson. He’s down front, so he doesn’t LOOK like the little guy of the bunch…even though the other two are each twice his size.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

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