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.

DUMPLIN’ Film Finds Its Star!

Literally got chills from this news. Julie Murphy’s DUMPLIN’ has founds its lead, Willowdean, in the fabulous Danielle Macdonald!

Check out the full article in the Hollywood Reporter. 

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More DUMPLIN’ Film News:

DUMPLIN’ a buzz project for Cannes Film Festival

JENNIFER ANISTON to Star in Teen Comedy DUMPLIN’

And check out Julie’s latest book, the absolutely stunning RAMONA BLUE.

Go Julie go!

Happy Pub Day to Saints and Misfits!

Happiest of Pub Days to the phenomenal S.K. Ali, and SAINTS AND MISFITS! S.K. Ali’s debut novel is also the first young adult from Simon & Schuster’s Muslim Voices imprint Salaam Reads.

Order right now on Amazon, B&N, and Indiebound.

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Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.

Like the monster at my mosque.

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.

Except me.

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Follow S.K. Ali on twitter at @sajidahwrites, and check out her piece on her quest to find an agent.

 

Happy Pub Day to Saints and Misfits!

After months of waiting, it’s finally here! S.K. Ali’s critically-acclaimed SAINTS AND MISFITS.

Check out on Goodreads, and get a copy today Amazon, B&N, and Indiebound.

Follow S.K. Ali on twitter at @sajidahwrites , and check out some of the awesome stuff she’s been up to, like this great piece about Ramadan, the importance of #ownvoices authors, and her amazing #muslimshelfspace giveaway.

I’m so fortunate to be working with such a brilliant, passionate, engaged author. Congratulations, Sajidah! You deserve all the joy and accolades today 🙂

Saints and Misfits Cover

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Congrats to Ashok Banker on Y.A. Deal with Delacorte!

In case you missed it on twitter last week, we are popping all the champagne over here for Ashok Banker and THE RISE TRILOGY.

Check out the announcement from Publishers Weekly:

Ashok Banker picKrista Marino at Delacorte has acquired, in a seven-figure preempt, author Ashok Banker‘s The Rise Trilogy, pitched as Six of Crows meets An Ember in the Ashes, with a cast featuring LGBTQIA, PoC, and differently abled protagonists. The #ownvoices series follows a young thief and her gang as they battle to overthrow a brutal tyrant and stay a demon invasion. Publication of the first book is planned for fall 2018; John Cusick at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for North American English rights.

Ashok reached out to me earlier this year, and I was immediately grabbed by this strange and wonderful universe he’d created. I don’t want to give too much away, but right there in the first chapters I found monsters rising up out of the floor to eat someone’s mother, a multi-faceted heist, and a roof top chase involving magic and flying police wagons. It was weird and wonderful and breathtaking, and I can’t wait for you all to read it. We found the perfect editor in Krista, who edits so many star fantasy writers and loved RISE as much as we do.

I knew I wanted to represent this story, but it wasn’t until Ashok and I got on the phone that I discovered what a warm, wise, and engaged person he is. Ashok is also incredibly humble, which is amazing given how much he’s achieved.

Ashok’s 54 books have sold over 3 million copies, been translated in eighteen languages, and sold in fifty-eight countries. If that weren’t enough, he’s also the pioneer of genre fiction in India; his internationally acclaimed Ramayana Series revolutionized Indian publishing, creating a genre called “Mytho”, now the biggest in the country. He is also the creator and screenwriter of the first Indian TV series in English, and co-creator and screenwriter of the first Malaysian TV series in English, the most watched “Mytho” TV series in India.

 

So yeah, the guy basically invented a genre.

You should follow Ashok on twitter for book news, and also his passionate advocacy for social justice and diversity in publishing: https://twitter.com/ashokkbanker

And more RISE news to come! Congrats Ashok!

S.K. Ali Talks Family, Togetherness, and Ramadan at NBC News

So cool to see SAINTS AND MISFITS author S.K. Ali talking about blended families, togetherness, and Ramadan with NBC News.

With my remarriage nine years ago, my single-parented family of three gained two appetite additions: the nuanced one of my gourmand husband and, for two to three months of the year, that of my teen stepson, Jochua, solidly rooted in good ol’ southern American fare.

Which, for him, being brought up as a Christian, includes bacon. (Thank Allah for quality halal beef bacon ready to do fill-in duty!)

You could say my son Hamza is also a meat ‘n potatoes kind of guy. Halal meat and turmeric-laced potatoes that is. My mother, an amazing cook, has nurtured his taste for good ol’ southern Indian fare.

And then my daughter, Bilqis, turned vegetarian four years ago. The kind of vegetarian who thrives on the sameness of her favorite foods, like veggie sushi rolls, with drizzled spicy sauce on top (i.e. she’ll eat it every day if she could).”

See the full article here.

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Check out SAINTS AND MISFITS (which has garnered three starred reviews!) on Goodreads, and pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and Indiebound.

Follow S.K. Ali on twitter at @sajidahwrites,

Congrats to Quinn Sosna-Spear on her Debut Deal!

A huge congrats to Quinn Sosna-Spear on her debut deal with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers! Guys this manuscript is so weird and wonderful, I can’t wait for you to read it.

From Publishers Weekly:

SosnaSpear Author PhotoLiz Kossnar at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to a debut novel by Quinn Sosna-Spear. Pitched as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets American Gods, The Mortician’s Son follows 12-year-old Walter’s travels in the stolen family hearse, through towns where people dress as fish, worship bees, and dig for living rocks, en route to meet the infamous inventor who mentored his father. Publication is planned for fall 2018; John M. Cusick at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the deal.

You can find Quinn online @qsosnaspear and quinnsosnaspear.com.

Congrats to SAINTS & MISFITS – 3 Starred Reviews!

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Saints and Misfits CoverSaints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.

Like the monster at my mosque.

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.

Except me.

Check out SAINTS AND MISFITS on Goodreads, and pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and Indiebound.

Follow S.K. Ali, @sajidahwrites,

Everything’s Coming Up RAMONA BLUE

So let’s talk about the phenomenal RAMONA BLUE by #1 NYT Bestseller Julie Murphy, out this month from Balzer & Bray!

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Firstly, RAMONA is an Indie Next Top Pick this month, which is fantastic.

Secondly, the book hit Pop Crush’s 10-Most-Anticipated YAs list (check it out).

Thirdly– check out these reviews…

“Julie Murphy knows a thing or two about navigating the worlds of girls on the brink of self-discovery.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A must-have work that will resonate with teens” (School Library Journal)

“Julie Murphy delivers a fresh and glorious love story that addresses all the complexities of one’s heart. Ramona Blue’s discovery of limitless love is total beauty.” (Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not)

“RAMONA BLUE is Julie Murphy’s best book yet. It’s hilarious, it’s heartfelt, and it’s so, so real. I just wish I’d had this book to read during my own teen years!” (Robin Talley, New York Times bestselling author of Lies We Tell Ourselves)

And definitely click-through to see AMERICAN STREET author Ibi Zoboi’s thoughts on RAMONA in the New York Times Book Review.

You can find Julie all over the country, or visit Julie at her totally shiny new website, www.juliemurphywrites.com, and on twitter at @andimjulie.

And get RAMONA BLUE today!

Happy Pub Day to Daddy Depot!

A huge hug and very happy book birthday to DADDY DEPOT, by Chana Stiefel, illustrated by Andy Snair.

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I’ll never forget the day, oh so many years ago now…I was hearing ten-minute pitches at the New Jersey SCBWI conference. In walked Chana (who apparently wasn’t originally scheduled to meet with me that day). She sat down and sold me on DADDY DEPOT in three lines. We’ve been working together ever since, and she’s got so many awesome new projects coming up. Congratulations Chana!

Come to Daddy Depot: The Dad Megastore! From Acrobats to Zookeepers, we have the perfect dad for you! Exchange your old dad for a brand-new one . . . TODAY!

Lizzie loves her dad, but he tells the same old jokes, falls asleep during story time, and gets distracted by football while Lizzie does her ballet twirls. When she sees an ad for a store called Daddy Depot, she decides to check it out―and finds dads of all kinds! Will Lizzie find the perfect dad? Join her on this sweet and silly adventure that celebrates fathers with lots of love.

 

 

Congrats to Megan and Jorge Lacera on Their Debut Deal!

A huge congrats to the phenomenally talented husband-and-wife team Megan and Jorge Lacera!

From Publishers Weekly:

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 11.18.29 AM.pngJessica Echeverria at Lee & Low has bought world rights in a two-book deal to Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies, the debut picture book by husband-and-wife team Megan and Jorge Lacera. The story follows Mo Romero, a young zombie who convinces his zombie parents to try (and love!) vegetables. Publication is scheduled for fall 2018; John M. Cusick at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal.

Guys this book is hilarious and sweet and delightful, whether or not you are pro-vegetable (and who isn’t pro-zombies?) Check out more from the Lacera family at http://www.studiolacera.com/