Wednesday, July 6, 2011

DARK COMPANION to be Published June 2012!

Fantastic news! I finally have a title for my YA Gothic! Tor/MacMillan will publish Dark Companion in June 2012. This is my homage to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which I first "discovered" in the library when I was 13, and have read several times since. I was also influenced by Muriel Sparks' The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and my own experiences at an all-girls high school.

When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?
I first wrote this book in response to what I saw as the crass and cynical teen books that treated all girls like mere consumers, looking for the latest trendy product to use as a status symbol. I remember reading about two advertising guys who wrote a book about a teen girl and presold product placement in the book. So that when the character used eye shadow, it was a specific brand and shade. And I was bothered by books that only portrayed the very worst qualities of girls, the social manipulation and game playing, the obsession with boys.

But girls are more than just a market niche. I knew girls who were brilliant, inquisitive, talented, kind, funny, brave, affectionate, generous... I wanted to write a book about those girls and for those girls.

I'll be telling you more about the road to publication for Dark Companion, including all the help from readers and bloggers.


These are for the girls!


Catherine/Suburban Vampire said...

I'm so excited to hear your news, Marta! I'll help share the info.

Marta said...

Thanks, Catherine! I'm very happy with the title. We went over it for months and I'm glad "companion" is in it because it speaks to the plot and has a nice gothic quality.

Jenn3128 said...

Congratulations Marta! A whole year to wait for its release, I guess I can do it.

I have such a soft spot for Jane Eyre, don't remember how old I was when I first read it.

My folks always liked to threaten me w/the all girls h.s., but I'd always point out that the preggo cheerleaders are shipped there and is that really the environment you want me in??!

Marta said...

Hi, Jenn, the high school I went to didn't have any pregnant girls. In fact, the most scandalous thing was a married girl, who was 18, I think, very nice and very bright, but not pregnant.

My parents threatened to send me to public school if I didn't keep my grades up. I took summer school one year for extra units (forced by parents) and was terrified the whole time.

Maria Lima said...


Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Congrats Marta! I'll pick up the redux story and take a peek!

Dottie :)

Danielle said...

LOVE it!
'Dark Companion' = swoon!

I am updating my book releases list right this second!

P.S. - thought you'd be interested to know I finally got a (paid) publishing gig ... I am Digital Assistant at an independent feminist book publisher in Melbourne :) This is my first week and I think I'm going to be very happy :) I owe you for helping me with my cover letter!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Great name for a book! Congrats, Marta! xxx

Marta said...

-Hi, Maria, thanks!
-Dottie, if I was more organized I'd start compiling a review list and you'd be on it! I don't have a publicist yet at Tor. (But we'll be in touch and you'll get a copy.)
-Danielle, what great news! I'm so happy you're a pro. As Gigi Barton said about Milagro's writing, "It's like prostitution: if you don't get paid, you're just an enthusiastic amateur."
-Karina, I'm glad you like it! I'm really happy with the title.