|Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 05:00 pm: |
The rumors of this have been drifting around for a few months, but I've finally been okayed to announce it, with much glee and revelry.
Let's just say this goes a long way towards helping the trains run on time again at Coppervale.
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR JAMES A. OWEN CONTRACTS WITH MAJOR PUBLISHER FOR ILLUSTRATED YOUNG ADULT FANTASY NOVEL
June 22, 2005—Silvertown, AZ
A lot of people have been wondering what I’ve been working on creatively (as in, writing and illustration) since most of the work I’ve been doing in the past few years involved mostly Editorial and Design work for publications such as INTERNATIONAL STUDIO and ARGOSY QUARTERLY.
The MYTHWORLD novels have continued their successful run in Germany (from Festa in hardcover and Piper in paperback), with a short break as we prepare the final three volumes. And there are several smaller comics-related projects (such as OBSCURO, the comics work-in-progress prequel to MYTHWORLD, which can be seen in the anthology NEGATIVE BURN from Image Comics) I’ve been working on in collaboration with friends and colleagues. But as to more writing and illustration of my own, something new has taken center stage, and will be the focus of my attentions for some time to come.
Last fall, my managers (Lindsay and my favorite Julie) and I discussed sending book proposals to a number of publishing houses, with one caveat: my managers’ relationships were with the Children’s and YA divisions of the publishers, and how did I feel about that? I had two responses: that one of the best writers I knew (Garth Nix) was essentially a YA author, which had nothing to do with the quality of the work; and second, being considered a children’s book author sure didn’t hurt Jo Rowling’s livelihood. So, out they went — and it looks as if I’m now adding a new aspect to my career path.
I’m thrilled to report that David Gale, the Vice President and Editorial Director of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, has purchased my forthcoming illustrated novel HERE BE DRAGONS, (and optioned a sequel) for a very substantial sum. The deal includes World Rights, which, given S&S’s success with Tony and Holly’s SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES (among many others) was a no-brainer.
We’re not saying anything about the story itself except for what was said in the Publisher’s Lunch Current Deals: that it’s a period fantasy set in London during World War I. I’ll also be painting the cover, as well as providing two-dozen full-page pen and ink illustrations in what has become known as my ‘signature style’ (translation: many, many pen lines). The first book is scheduled for publication on Simon & Schuster's Fall 2006 list.
I asked David if he’d make a comment or two for this note, and he sent this: "I signed up this book based on the outline and a few chapters because the concept of the book just about floored everyone here at Simon & Schuster, Now that I have the first draft in house, I am thrilled to confirm that you have delivered on the promise that your proposal suggested. Based on your ideas and Simon & Schuster's enthusiasm, I expect that this will be the start of a long and fulfilling relationship for us all."
For additional information, please contact Lindsay Williams or Julie Kane-Ritsch at The Gotham Group — 310-285-0001
For information on current and upcoming work by James A. Owen, please go to www.coppervaleinternational.com
For information on current and upcoming releases from Simon & Schuster, please go to http://www.simonsaysteen.com
|Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 05:57 am: |
Congrats! Those illustrated novels get huge circulation at my local library. They are well-loved. I think you'll do very well in this area.
|Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 10:15 am: |
Thank you! I hope so.
If nothing else, the timing was good - YA fantasy novels, with the support of their publishing houses, can push into the readers' attention spans faster than almost anything right now.
Getting to illustrate it is just icing on the cake - I'm in the middle of the drawings right now.
Jason Erik Lundberg
|Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 09:01 pm: |
Big congratulations, James! That's wonderful!
|Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 01:32 pm: |
|Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 05:01 pm: |
When will Simon & Schuster make an announcement? BYW, Do you have any links to buy any of the Mythworld Books?
|Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 01:57 pm: |
Hi Lloyd -
Not for a while - it's a Fall 2006 book; I had to get specific permission to say as much as I have. The only 'formal' announcement thus far was to the trade via Publisher's Lunch. But come next Summer, it's going to be all over the place.
For the Mythworld books (which are only in German at the moment), you can go to www.amazon.de
The prequel, OBSCURO, is availible in print in Negative Burn (part 1), and online at my journal off of the Coppervale website.