Author: johnmcusick

Agent with Folio Jr., representing picture books, middle grade, young adult, and everything in between. Author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY. Mostly harmless.

Congratulations Sajidah Kutty on her debut deal!

From Publishers Weekly:

9vEV8jr1Zareen Jaffery at S&S’s Salaam Reads has preempted world rights to Saints, Misfits, Monster and Mayhem, the debut YA novel by teacher and artist Sajidah Kutty. The novel follows 15-year-old Janna Yusuf, daughter of the only divorced mother at the mosque, as she examines her faith and relationships in the wake of an assault. The book will be Salaam’s first YA novel. Publication is slated for summer 2017; John M. Cusick of Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal.

I’m so excited that Sajidah’s beautiful novel will be Salaam Reads’s first young adult publication. This is such an important book, and it found its perfect home.

You can follow Sajidah at @sajidahwrites, and check out Sajidah’s piece on her quest to find an agent.

Heidicker’s CURE a Most-Anticipated YA

So excited to see Christian Heidicker’s CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE on Barnes & Noble’s 26 Most Anticipated June Young Adult Books!

CURE Final CoverLiterally minutes after a real (!) live (!) girl (!!) agrees to let him take her on his very first date, screen-addicted Jaxon’s dad and stepmom drag him off to video game rehab. There, he must earn one million points over the course of four days in order to win his freedom in time to go on his date—which will require interfacing not with pixels but with actual humans.

“A plugged-in young adult comedy about the pain of unplugging… perfect for teen gamers and readers who are fans of Jesse Andrews and John Green.” (School Library Journal)

“Heidicker’s debut crackles with twitchy energy… this is a fun, absurdist romp through gaming culture, populated by zany characters and a quest narrative worthy of its own game.” (Booklist)

Pre-Order out CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE at Amazon, Indiebound, and Barnes & Noble, and check it out on Goodreads.

You can find Christian on twitter, too.

Congrats Tommy and Sharon!

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Congratulations to Tommy Wallach (Thanks for the Trouble) and Sharon Biggs Waller (The Forbidden Orchid) on their YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominations!


Thanks for the Trouble Final CoverCheck out THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE on Goodreads, and order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound.

You can also check Tommy’s New York Times best -selling WE ALL LOOKED UP on Goodreads. Order now at Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Indiebound.

 

ForbiddenOrchid_CoverYou can order THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (Viking Children’s Books) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads.

You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Happy Pub Day to GENA/FINN!

Happy Book Birthday to Hannah Moskowitz’s and Kat Helgeson’s YA GENA/FINN (Chronicle Books).


41O+px6P4HL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Gena and Finn would have never met but for their mutual love for the popular show Up Below. Regardless of their differences—Gena is a recent high school graduate whose social life largely takes place online, while Finn is in her early twenties, job hunting and contemplating marriage with her longtime boyfriend—the two girls realize that the bond between them transcends fanfiction. When disaster strikes and Gena’s world turns upside down, only Finn can save her, and that, too, comes with a price. Told through emails, text messages, journal entries, and blog posts, Gena/Finn is a story of friendship and love in the digital age.

 

ChwZ_QtUgAAUpRnLet’s hear from Kat:

“Hannah and I met in an online community writing fanfiction. We were part of a group that came up with story prompts for the things we wanted to read and wrote stories to fit each other’s prompts. Hannah and I were answering each other’s requests more than anybody else, and as time went by we started talking about our real lives as well. Then Hannah came to Chicago for a publicity event and we had the chance to meet in person. We planned to just have dinner together and go our separate ways, but we enjoyed each other’s company so much that we ended up spending the whole weekend together. It wasn’t long after that that we mutually came up with the idea of a book telling the story of the deep connections that can come out of internet fandom and the way online friendships can transition into three-dimensional ones. A lot of people talk about online relationships as something distinct from “real” relationships, and what I came to understand by knowing Hannah was that the interactions that happen online can be as real and meaningful as any other.”

Here’s a bit from their editor, Taylor Norman at Chronicle Books:

“It was clear to us immediately that this was a story told about real young adults, by real young adults. So much of YA fiction is aimed at teens without any sense of what motivates them, how they talk, how they relate to each other. The relationship in GENA/FINN is visceral and honest, complicated and indefinable: in other words, real. It’s so rare to see a book that captures life as well as Hannah and Kat have here. I was sold immediately and finished an hour and a half later.”

What other people are saying:

“Vividly portrays the minute-to-minute nature of modern communication.”-Publishers Weekly

“Allows readers to close the cover pondering all the different ways humans can love.”-School Library Journal

“I liked Gena and I liked Finn, not just as characters but as people. Although their experiences were different from mine, I could see myself in both women–all of the uncertainty and indecisiveness and insecurity.”– Billie Bloebaum, A Children’s Place, Portland, OR

“If Hannah Moskowitz writes it-or in this case, co-writes it-I will read it.”–Leila Roy, Bookshelves of Doom, a Kirkus Reviews Blog

“It’s very satisfying to see this moment in fandom and Internet-originating relationships so capably represented.”-Kirkus Reviews

“This portrayal of the fan world is spot-on. focused firmly on the real, messy relationships that can form in the digital age.”–Booklist

Find GENA/FINN at Goodreads, Amazon, B&N.

You can find Kat on her website and twitter, and Hannah on her website and twitter.

Welcome New Client Sajidah Kutty

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Update: Check out this awesome piece by Sajidah on her quest to find an agent.

I’m so excited to welcome new client, Sajidah Kutty! Sajidah’s gorgeous and brilliant YA debut is called SAINTS, MISFITS, MONSTERS, AND MAYHEM, and I can’t wait for you all to read it. Welcome to the Folio family, Sajidah!

You can follow Sajidah at @sajidahwrites.

Happy Pub Day to Marina Cohen and THE INN BETWEEN!

Congrats to Marina on her awesome (and I do mean awesome– and spooky) middle-grade…

Inn Between cover

Order THE INN BETWEEN on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

Check out Marina Cohen online and on twitter.

Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned.

When Quinn’s best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara’s parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family before it’s too late?

An Amazon Best Book of the Month Editor’s Choice Pick!

 

“Cohen’s emotionally gripping tale perfectly captures the essences of friendship and sibling love. Readers looking for a mystery with heart, humor, and hairy moments will be captivated.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The well-placed narrative balances emotion and plot, and the strong underlying mysteries offer up plenty of clues for attentive readers to piece together. Quinn is a likable, authentically muddled young character, and occasional flashbacks to events surrounding her sister’s loss flesh out her guilt-ridden motivations without overtaking the story. Ultimately offering a happy resolution, this middle-grade supernatural story functions well as horror for beginners and a clever concept for fans of imaginative fiction.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“For readers who enjoy being scared silly, this will fit the bill while also providing them with a thought-provoking ending.”―Booklist

 

 

Happy Pub day to Sharon Biggs Waller & THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID!

Congrats to Sharon on her second amazing novel…

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* “Elodie and Ching Lan are feminists of their era, refusing to bend to the rules and limits placed before them.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “A historical romance with a strong female protagonist, sure to find fans.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“The characters are strong and full of life, and the plot combines the perfect amount of both adventure and romance. . . . This book is a must-have.”—VOYA

“Similar in tone to Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty (2003), this is a perfect read for timid teens who dream of adventure.”—Booklist

“Well-researched and filled with adventure, romance, and lots of tension—this work of historical fiction has all the elements of an intriguing read.”—Kirkus Reviews

The adventures of a British girl in China, hunting for the orchid that will save her family.

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters growing up in a small English market town in 1861. The girls barely know their father, a plant hunter usually off adventuring through China, more myth than man. Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan reneges on his contract to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid. He will be thrown into debtors’ prison while his daughters are sent to the orphanage and the workhouse.

Elodie can’t stand by and see her family destroyed, so she persuades her father to return to China once more to try to hunt down the flower—only this time, despite everything she knows about her place in society, Elodie goes with him. She has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China. She comes to find that both the world and her place in it are so much bigger than she’d ever dreamed. But now, even if she can find the orchid, how can she ever go back to being the staid, responsible Elodie that everybody needs?

You can order THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (Viking Children’s Books) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads.

You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Images Inspiring Fiction

I’ve heard various artists say they’re often inspired by images. Most famously Ron Howard claims he draws inspiration for his movies from single still images and photographs.

On Tumblr today I stumbled across this painting by Edward Hopper, which was the initial inspiration for my book CHERRY MONEY BABY. Something about this woman (an usher?) alone, apart from whatever’s transpiring on stage / screen, lost in her own thoughts…it got me thinking about a young woman who feels tangential to someone else’s larger drama, a girl on the outside looking in, and I wanted to tell her story.

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Fellow writers, are there pictures and images that inspire your stories? I’d be curious to hear about them (and see them).

Happy Pub Day to THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE!

Huge congrats and multi-person-jump-in-the-air-freeze-frame-high-fives to Tommy Wallach. His latest novel, THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE, pubs today!

Thanks for the Trouble Final Cover“Was this story written about me?”
I shrugged.
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can’t, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

“Wallach (We All Looked Up) delivers well-rounded, witty characters—all contemplating whether living a full life is better than living a long one. Bittersweet moments intersect with the intricate fairy tales Parker writes, compelling readers to judge what is real and what is make-believe.” (Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW)

“An absorbing coming-of-age narrative about the power of connection.” (Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW)

“A unique and compelling tale. The narrator’s hilariously crass but poignant voice is sure to intrigue even the most reluctant of readers.” (School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW)

“This novel is a good read-alike for John Green fans.” (VOYA)

“Organic and well earned.” (The Horn Book)

Check out THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE on Goodreads, and order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound.

You can also check Tommy’s New York Times best -selling WE ALL LOOKED UP on Goodreads. Order now at Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Indiebound.