September 8, 2017
Paramount Pictures has acquired the screen rights to the forthcoming Putnam novel DRACUL, a prequel to Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula. Andy Muschietti, whose highly-anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s It opens in theaters this weekend, is attached to direct.
[caption id="attachment_7695" align="alignright" width="197"]
Credit: Todd Lisa Studio[/caption]
Co-written by Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew Dacre Stoker
and author J.D. Barker
, DRACUL is the first Dracula
prequel to be authorized by the Stoker estate. The story, which is based on the missing, never-published first 100 pages of the original Dracula
manuscript, centers around a 21-year-old Bram Stoker meeting an ungodly, evil being, who he traps in an ancient tower for the longest, most horrific night of his life. This evil being goes on to be the subject of Stoker’s iconic novel.
News of Putnam Executive Editor Mark Tavani
’s book acquisition and the Paramount Pictures deal was featured in multiple outlets this week, including Deadline
, AV Club
, Publishers Weekly
and Publishers Lunch
. DRACUL is scheduled for publication by Putnam in Fall 2018.
August 7, 2017
At the heart of THE LUSTER OF LOST THINGS , the first novel by Putnam author Sophie Chen Keller, is Walter Lavender, Jr., silenced by a motor speech disorder but a master of finding, a son keeping vigil, twelve years and counting, for his lost father. When the book at the root of magic served up at the family bakery, The Lavenders, vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.
Sophie Chen Keller was born in Beijing, China, and raised in Ohio and California. Her fiction has won several awards and has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train and Pedestal. After graduating from Harvard, she moved to New York City.
To find out how Sophie created her wondrous book, in the process finding the voice of her characters and the magical world of THE LUSTER OF LOST THINGS, read this “Meet Our Author” interview.
What inspired you to write THE LUSTER OF LOST THINGS?
In 2014, while camping on a volcano in Maui, I came across a “Lost” flyer for a camera that contained meaningful family photos. I began wondering whether that camera, with its silicon memory of lost moments, had been returned to its owner. I wondered who responded to flyers like that one. What if there were people out there who made it their mission to look for what others had lost? Why were they doing it? Was there something else people were looking for when they looked for a missing camera? That was when I had my first inkling of who Walter might be.
Aside from that, I knew I wanted my first book to be a celebration of childhood. My memories from then are some of my most vivid: humid summers that went on for ages, imaginary adventures in sandbox castles, PB&Js cut into triangles, bedtime stories that took me to magical places. Those days are lost now, but sometimes, when we start to feel suffocated by darkness, we could use a return to that time when the world was still bright and miraculous, and we could so clearly see the goodness that lived around us and in us.
Walter reminds us to see beyond the surface – the “skin of the world,” as he calls it. The tale he tells is simple and uplifting, and at the same time layered with observations on what it means to live and be human. As you’re experiencing his journey, I hope you’re also savoring the search for the layers underneath, both inside and outside the pages; I hope that what you find will fill you with wonder.
What was it like to write in Walter’s voice? Is his speech disorder based on a real disorder?
Walter’s voice came pretty naturally. You could say that he found me, while I had to find his disorder in the course of my research; I spoke with parents, speech pathologists, professors, and doctors, who kindly shared with me their knowledge, experiences, hopes, and concerns. Walter’s condition is based on a type of motor speech disorder called childhood apraxia of speech, although the particulars of his case would be unusual. Childhood apraxia of speech is often misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy, ADD or ADHD, an intellectual disability, or a developmental language disorder, among others. It’s actually a separate diagnosis—a neurological disorder where the brain has trouble coordinating the muscle movements required to produce the intended speech. The mind is a vast, complex and largely mysterious landscape, and in the case of apraxia, some wires have gotten crossed or short-circuited and signals sent by the brain aren’t getting through properly to, say, the lips or the tongue or the face.
The novel celebrates the many different kinds of people who live in New York City. Why did you decide to set the story in Manhattan?
I moved to New York City at a formative time in life, right after college, and I tend to write about places I understand and connect with on an instinctual level. I haven’t been to any other place where it’s quite so obvious how different people can be, and how similar, too. You’re reminded every day, in the curious combinations of smells and the unfiltered emotions spilling out onto the sidewalk. And you just might discover The Lavenders around the next corner. In my mind, the West Village especially takes on a shade of happy wonder, because that’s where my now husband lived—on a certain street named Carmine—when we first met.
The Lavenders is an unforgettable place. Why did you decide to set the novel in a bakery?
Mostly because I like eating and watching shows about food; I figured I would also like writing about food. The novel is about connecting and belonging, and food is something we associate with coming together, or with being transported home, wherever and whenever that might be.
I like discovering new places and trying different desserts, so The Lavenders is an amalgamation of various shops: the whimsical tiles from a chocolate shop in California, the classic brass finishes from a patisserie in France, the sugary sense of brightness from a bakery in downtown Manhattan, the dash of hominess from a Bäckerei in Germany, and any kind of edible treat you could imagine from everywhere—and there you are.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I read. I travel. I dwell on things. Sometimes, when there’s a piano nearby, I play it.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on a second novel, and that’s about all I’ll say. Since I usually figure out things as I go, I have trouble talking about what I’m writing until it’s been written.
May 8, 2017
THE LIGHT WE LOST, Jill Santopolo’s debut novel, is being published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons on Tuesday, May 9. The book unfolds in a series of vignettes over a decade and a half, as a young woman navigates the turbulent emotional waters of her first love. With foreign rights already sold in 30 countries, striking a global chord, THE LIGHT WE LOST is a
testament to the lengths we go to pursue our dreams, the sacrifices we make for love, and the all-too-realistic facets of life that can suddenly and completely change our course.
In addition to being an author (including three successful children’s and young adult series as well her new novel), Jill is the Editorial Director of Philomel Books, a Penguin Young Readers imprint. She is also an adjunct professor in The New School’s MFA program, and travels the world to speak about writing and storytelling. Here Jill offers insights into how she makes it all happen as a multi-talented member of the Penguin Random House family.
As an editor, author and teacher, how do you make and balance the time for all of your creative endeavors?
The best time balancing tip I have is one I learned from a Penguin author, Jacqueline Woodson, who gave a talk about how she balances her writing with the rest of her life. She told the room that she literally schedules writing time into her calendar as if it were a party or a meeting, and then doesn’t ever cancel it. So I’ve taken that tip and used it, scheduling writing time, editing time, teaching time–and then scheduling running time and family time and friend time, too. It means I’ve often got a lot of on my calendar, but it has also helped me to figure out exactly how much time I need for any given task. And when things get especially busy, I employ what my father used to call The Suspension of the Unnecessary–where I put aside getting things done that don’t have
to happen so that I can focus on whatever project needs to be completed by a certain deadline.
What was the genesis of the idea behind THE LIGHT WE LOST and how did you find the voice of Lucy, the primary character in your book?
THE LIGHT WE LOST
was actually born out of a horrible break-up—the kind the turns your world upside down and makes you re-imagine your entire future—and I was trying to figure out a way to handle that experience. I ended up doing it by writing vignettes about another woman who was going through a different break-up, but whose thoughts and feelings were similar to mine. Lucy’s story is not my story, but the emotions she experiences are the same, and that’s how her voice emerged. I wanted to write someone who was wounded, but strong enough to overcome heartbreak–probably in the hope that I would be, too
What are the most rewarding aspects of being part of the Penguin Random House family?
I think just that–that it really does feel like a family, or a phamily
as we call it a Philomel. I’ve been amazed by the support and love all of my Penguin Young Readers colleagues have shown for this book, and how wonderful it feels to be a PRH author. When my agent sent The Light We Lost
out into the world on submission, I really hoped that it would end up here, and was absolutely thrilled that Putnam wanted my book on their list. (Thank you!)
As THE LIGHT WE LOST goes on sale, media and fellow authors post words of praise:
“[Jill] Santopolo explores passion, fate, love, and what it means to truly be a good person. She raises questions readers will find themselves pondering long after they’ve turned the last page: are our lives shaped by our own choices or by forces outside our control? Are first loves forever? And is it worth risking stability and comfort for a love that is unpredictable and explosive? A beautiful and devastating story that will captivate readers.” —Kirkus
, Starred Review
”Jill Santopolo’s extraordinary debut novel is a love story–an emotional roller coaster–that follows the lives of Lucy and Gabe who meet in New York City on September 11, 2001. The event transforms and shadows their lives. How do they reconcile passion and security, dreams and reality? As The Light We Lost
enchanted and compelled me, I found myself reconsidering my own choices, and wondering at the choices of my friends and the people around me–how did their dreams match their realities? And what if that dream can’t include the person you love the most?” —Delia Ephron, New York Times
bestselling author of Siracusa
“What can be more devastating than love? In her adult debut, Santopolo explores thirteen tumultuous years in the lives of two unique lovers, the difference between what’s forever and what’s finite, and how what seems fated might not be fact. Gorgeously written and absolutely unforgettable, Santopolo’s novel has a beating heart all its own.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times
bestselling author of Pictures of You
, Is This Tomorrow
, and Cruel Beautiful World
March 10, 2017
Author Meg Howrey is a former dancer who performed with the Joffrey, Eglevsky Ballet, and City Ballet of Los Angeles. She toured nationally with the Broadway production of Contact, for which she won the Ovation Award in 2001 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. During her writing career, Meg has been the author two novels for Pantheon/Vintage, Blind
Sight and The Cranes Dance,
and the coauthor of two bestselling novels for Penguin, City of Dark Magic
and City of Lost Dreams,
published under the pen name Magnus Flyte.
Ms. Howrey’s new book, THE WANDERERS
, which goes on sale from G. P. Putnam’s Sons on March 14, has been described as “Station Eleven
meets The Martian.”
This brilliantly inventive novel is about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them—and their families—changed forever. Wonderfully imaginative, tenderly comedic, and unerringly wise, THE WANDERERS explores the differences between those who go and those who stay, telling a story about the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart.
In this “Meet Our Author” interview, Meg takes us inside the heart of her creative life:
How would you describe your writing regimen and routines?
I alternate writing sitting at a desk with standing up at a sort of jury-rigged podium. In both places there is much gesticulation and theatrical facial expressions and mumblings. Making a book is a form of performance art. I’m a slow starter and will spend months on the first one or two chapters. Whether I’m writing two hours a day or ten, each book feels like its own particular beast and requires different regiments of feeding, care, and grooming. Books can bite or run away so you have to stay calm and be patient.
What was the genesis of and the inspirations behind your new novel, THE WANDERERS?
I read a newspaper account of a study conducted by the Russian and European space agencies to investigate the psychological effects of a long duration space mission. I thought, “Well, that’s interesting but wouldn’t what you’d feel on an actual mission to Mars be substantially different from what you’d feel in a simulator?” And then, “Possibly not, if the simulation was very good,” and also, “That would make a cool setting for a novel,” followed by, “It’s too bad I can’t write that novel since I don’t know anything about space.” So, the beast of this novel entailed a lot of research. Some of the themes I’ve tried to work on in other books are here: consciousness, ambition, the constructs of family, the problem of deciding what is real, and what “real” means.
How have you been able to find the time and the creative energy to achieve success as an author, dancer and actress?
A thing about dance is you start so young you can have had a ten-year career by the time you’re in your mid-twenties, especially if you don’t go to college, which I didn’t. The acting really came out of the dancing—every once in a while somebody needed a ballet dancer who actually wanted to speak, and there weren’t that many of us. (Basically, there was the really beautiful one, the one who could also sing, and me.) Whatever else I was doing I was always, always reading, and trying to write came out of that. With all these things—dancing, acting, writing—I never feel that I’ve arrived. I’m always squinting at goalposts.
You are among a handful of Penguin Random House authors whose books have been published by multiple imprints, in your case Pantheon/Vintage, Penguin and Putnam. How has this experience helped shape your writing career?
An accurate reckoning in my “Acknowledgements” section would run to twenty pages. THE WANDERERS exists because of the generosity of Shelley Wanger and everyone at Pantheon/Vintage, and Carolyn Carlson and many delightful Penguins, and now Tara Singh Carlson and a fantastic team at Putnam. Through five books I’ve been reinventing myself, and these people have given me the space to do it. There aren’t enough thank you cards.