Melissa Marr (melissa_writing) wrote,
Melissa Marr

Blackwell Pages announced

My secret project is not secret now. The deal was just posted in Publishers Weekly.

Here's the press release sent out by my agent:
New York Times bestselling authors Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely) and Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning) will join forces to write the middle grade trilogy The Blackwell Pages for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The title was acquired by Megan Tingley, Senior Vice President and Publisher, with Kate Sullivan editing, and Marr's agent Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House made the deal for North American rights on behalf of Armstrong's agent Sarah Heller of the Helen Heller Agency. Both Armstrong and Marr have a strong young adult following and this will be the authors' first foray into middle grade fiction.The Blackwell Pages will tell the story of two 12-year-old boys and one girl, all distant descendants of the Norse gods, who must journey to prevent the impending Ragnarok (the apocalypse). The first book,Loki's Wolves, is slated for publication in Spring of 2013.

How did this happen?
A couple years ago, not long after my second novel released, I met Kelley. At that time she was about to release her first YA book, and I loved it even more than her adult novels (which is saying something bc I was a fan already).

We did a few signing events, and then we organized a tour (Smart Chicks Kick It) together…and edited an anthology (Enthralled, coming out this fall) together. Then we organized a writing retreat, the Smart Chicks 2.0 tour (also coming this fall), and started planning another retreat. Somewhere along the way we became good friends.We also decided it would be fun to try to write together. The Blackwell Papers is the result.

Why Norse?
In 1998 (literally 13 years ago bc as I write this it’s my 13th wedding anniversary!), I married a wonderful man with a Norwegian surname that is often misspelled. Loch has not a speck of Irish or Scottish in him. . . despite this, he’s amazing. However, in a blink, I suddenly had a wonderful daughter (who is now 17!) and was pregnant with our now 12 yr old son—two kids of Norwegian ancestry and me with insufficient Norse info.

At the time, I was panic-stricken. It obviously wasn’t cool to only pass on MY half (the Irish & Scottish) of the folklore. I spent a lot of time researching pregnancy, preschoolers and reading, gender roles, and Norse lore. Now, I may have gone a bit overboard on my Be A Good Mommy goals. I had charts to assure I said all of the right affirmations frequently enough and first aid kits in every possible place. I may have even had a troll trap built for my son when he was 3. These were all rational actions. Folklore matters (seriously, my kids had to be on the lookout for trolls and faeries), and the world is riddled with dangers (ie first aid kits are important enough that 6 or 7 in a house is rational).

Six years later (2004), that “be a good mommy” obsession led to writing a feminist fairy tale novel with the folklore I knew and loved from childhood (Wicked Lovely), and now, seven years after that, it has led to co-authoring an adventure series using the lore I learned in order to be their mother. Being a mother continues to be the root of everything wonderful in my life, and getting to share this news on the anniversary of my marriage to the man who made me a mother is pretty incredible.
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