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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.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 23rd, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your new books and on your anniversary! That is a lovely, heart-warming story.
May. 23rd, 2011 01:17 pm (UTC)
That's awesome, Melissa! Both the story of how the book came to be, and the actual book. Sounds like the sort of thing my kids would love reading. :)
May. 23rd, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)
I'm so looking forward to this! Two of my idols together! It will be awesome!

Happy Anniversary!
May. 23rd, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the anniversary and the book deal! My Hubby's also Norwegian (half) so I'll be Very Interested to read these! (I know next-to-nothing about Norse mythology & have definitely had the "when we have kids, I better figure this stuff out!" thought.)
May. 23rd, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
Happy anniversary :)

And huge congrats on the new series -- I can't wait to read more!
May. 23rd, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
May. 23rd, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
First. Happy anniversary. May the good winds of fate follow you for 60 more years.

Second. I'm so glad you are working with Kelley. You are two of my favorite writers - especially in the YA market - and I can't wait to read the world you've built. That's one reason I love both of you as a reader: there's a consistency and strong world built within your universes that allows for surprises but the "surprise" isn't a deal breaker or deus ex machina. Strong writers are always welcome in my Must Buy (or Must Borrow) stable. You've consistently topped that, along with Kelley.
May. 23rd, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
Happy anniversary to the both of you!

And I'm so excited to hear you're working on a middle grade. Between the two of you, I'm sure it will be an amazing series.
May. 23rd, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say "hi". ;-)

Greetings from Germany !
May. 23rd, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
congratulations! this is wonderful news! Congrats!
May. 24th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the new series--and on the continuing Mom gig. Both are well worth celebrating. Three cheers!
May. 25th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
Love this post. It's so true about motherhood tying all the good stuff together.
So excited for your new series! My son, now 8 and an avid reader, will eat it up.

May. 25th, 2011 11:56 am (UTC)
This sound like it's going to be really, really good. Everything you write has so much creative energy. Love ya and best wishes!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )