It posted in Publisher's Marketplace today so I guess I can finally talk about it!:
Jaclyn Dolamore's DARK METROPOLIS, about a city in which corruption and vice are rampant and disappearances warrant a shrug from the authorities: when a girl vanishes, her best friend must search the city's underground, only to find that here, people who die don't necessarily stay dead, to Catherine Onder at Disney-Hyperion, at auction, in a six-figure deal, in a two-book deal, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (World English).
This book has a bit of a fascinating story. I started it back in 2007, if I recall correctly. Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis happens to be one of my favorites, and I was pondering a story based on it where the workers are all revived from the dead. I wrote the first chapter and I thought the voice came out sounding both more sophisticated and tense than anything I'd written up to that point.
And frankly, I didn't feel ready to write it. I didn't know what it was really about yet, but I knew I couldn't do it justice.
Last October, my cat died. I nursed her through cancer until she had to be put down, and the last months of her life were traumatizing for me, but she remained the cat of my heart, a cat who always spent her nights melted against my stomach like a baby in an invisible womb, with her paw tucked inside my hand. I didn't write much in November once I turned in Magic Under Stone, and in December I had a talk with my agent and decided to work on a middle grade.
But that Metropolis-story kept poking at me all of a sudden. I realized it was kind of a book about death. And until Tacy died, I hadn't been close enough to it to write that book. Even though I was "supposed" to be writing a middle grade I started writing this instead.
About a week after THAT, my agent told me that her client Lisa Madigan had advanced pancreatic cancer. I knew she would die. That isn't something people really make it out of. Lisa wasn't a super-close friend, but she was close enough that we had exchanged quite a few emails, that I had a ceramic mermaid that was a gift from her hanging by my desk. A lot of people loved her, because she was generous and funny and just a wonderful part of the writing community.
She died while I was writing this book, and in a funny way I think she helped me write it (although, obviously, I'm sure that was not her intention...), and a part of me sort of wanted to write an awesome book that my agent would love and sell well to cheer her up because we all loved Lisa, not that a book is any replacement for a PERSON, but...anyway. I finished this book really fast. It was a cathartic thing to write. It was the first thing that really made me cry.
Although it is not really a sad book, I don't think. And it has a romance--two romances, in fact, one with a girl and a magical silver-haired boy and one with a girl with strange magic of her own and another girl. It has my usual love of describing food and fashion! It was tremendously fun to research, even though it is not quite the real Weimar Berlin, because the real Weimar Berlin sort of had nothing to do with the plot of Metropolis. Still, you wouldn't know that from all my particular Googling of what hat styles were in fashion in 1927, and 1920s political theater, and other things. I listed to a lot of the Threepenny Opera.
It is tentatively scheduled to be a summer 2013 release, and I am SO very excited to be working with Hyperion and Catherine Onder, as I have heard wonderful things about both! I hope you will enjoy it!