Nancy Mercado of Roaring Brook Press has preempted North American rights to It's Not the End of the World by Julie Williams, a La Cage aux Folles-inspired YA about a girl genius who must thwart her unconventional family's demise in which her mother, her father, and her father's new boyfriend, all live under the same roof, while dealing with her Jehovah's Witness grandmother's prediction of the end of the world. The projected pub date is spring 2012. Jill Corcoran at the Herman Agency did the deal.
Here's a sneak peak from the manuscript:
Professor Enomoto says, “Write down three things you absolutely DO NOT want us to know about you. Don’t worry. You won’t have to read them out loud or turn them in.”
I can do this. I DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW:
1. My IQ which is off the charts and the rest of the test results that got me here.
2. That I will never belong in the theatre even though I have spent every waking moment there since I was born.
3. That my family is falling apart and I think once that happens I am going to disappear. You know, like ink fading on a manuscript that’s been left out in the sun.
Now the Professor says, “Okay, now write down three things you are willing to share with the class, starting with your name.”
1. Jessie Jasper Lewis
2. Yes, my parents really are Mark Lewis and Una Jasper Lewis of the critically acclaimed and world-famous Minnesota Theatre Company.
3. Yes, I really am only 16 years old and this is my first class at the U of M.
JULIE WILLIAMS is the author of the young adult novel-in-poems, ESCAPING TORNADO SEASON, HarperTempest 2004, Finalist, Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Award, 2005 & NYSRA Charlotte Award Committee 2006 YA Reading List. Her poetry has been published in many small press journals and nominated for a Pushcart prize. Julie has worked as an actor, secretary, counselor, seamstress, administrator, teacher, and grant writer. She’s worked in theatre companies, hospitals, universities, and even for a Hollywood caterer. For the past five years whenever she’s not writing, you’ll find her in her studio up to her ears in paint, glue, markers, fabric, paper, old photographs, beads, sticks, driftwood, stones, vintage books and lace and hardware – all used to create mixed media assemblage and collage. Julie has been actively involved with SCBWI since 1988, serving the Los Angeles region as a conference coordinator, KITE TALES designer, and for three years as co-regional advisor.
Julie attended Bemidji State University (Minnesota), the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (graduating with an MFA in Acting and Directing). For 20 years she was an adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge teaching for the Communication Studies and Theatre Departments and retiring in 2003 as Assistant Director of CSUN’s Educational Opportunity Program. In 2006 she and her husband moved back to Minnesota, where she is enjoying the four seasons and the vibrant writing and artistic communities of the Twin Cities.
Visit her blog to see her fabulous art and read her wise, wise words!
And why do I say wise? Some of you know this already, but I consider Julie not only a client and a friend, but a mentor. She was one of my first critique partners when I started seriously writing a novel in verse, and she and I bonded more than simply on paper, but in our souls. When Ronnie asked me to become an agent, Julie was the first person I called to ask if she would allow me to rep her. At the time Julie was barely writing, but rather devoting herself to art. We talked about projects that she worked on when we were in that critique group together so many years ago, and she agreed to go back to writing and to be my client. Lucky me!
She got to writing IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD and a little over a year later she sent me this funny, sweet, surprising, completely out-of-the-box manuscript. IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD sold quickly to a most fabulous editor, Nancy Mercado, who it turns out Julie met at an SCBWI Los Angeles Writer's Retreat years before. (Nancy, I am not sure if you even remember that but Julie sure did. She told me that she thinks Nancy Mercado would be a fantastic editor for her. That her style and smarts really aligned with her sensibilities as a writer and as a person.)
In the last few weeks the magic happened: offer, acceptance, cheers and now a formal announcement. All I can say is thank goodness it's not the end of the world because Julie and Nancy have a lot of wonderful books to create and share with all of you!
JILL CORCORAN is a children’s book agent with Herman Agency. Her current interests include: high concept Young Adult and Middle Grade Thrillers, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Comedies, and Adventure manuscripts.