Friday, November 8, 2013

Two books at the forefront of the busy fall publishing season

Fall is the one of the busiest times of the year in the publishing world (if not the busiest time). It's not only when agents are busy submitting to editors who are busy buying books after the lull of the summer, it's also when publishing houses are busy publishing! Many publishers release their lead titles in the fall, and so the season is marked by numerous great reads hitting bookshelves—physical and virtual—for the first time.

Two JVNLA books that have been part of the fall publishing excitement are The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon and Margot by Jillian Cantor. Since their releases earlier this season, glowing reviews have been coming in so fast we've had a hard time keeping up with them!

Now, we're putting the spotlight on both books:

THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY BY DIANNE DIXON is, as one blogger put it, “a novel rich with compelling characters, each haunted by a past riddled with painful, life-altering mistakes” (Jenn's Bookshelves). The novel tells the story of three women whose lives are connected in mysterious ways. As these connections begin converging, each of their lives will change forever.

Dianne Dixon

Dixon credits a recurring nightmare she had as a child as the inspiration for The Book of Someday.  The nightmare was of “a beautiful woman in a silver gown opening her mouth to let out a scream [that Dixon] knew would be the sound of absolute horror.” Read more about how Dixon wove this nightmarish woman into her novel on her website here--and don't forget to check out the rest of the site!

The Book of Someday was Sourcebooks Landmark's lead title for the fall. Per a Publishers Weekly article about the imprint and its acquisition of Dixon's book, Landmark has been aggressively building its fiction list in recent years.  It has focused on women's fiction, writing that blends the literary with the commercial, and reads that make for fantastic book club selections. With The Book of Someday, Landmark knew it had found the perfect book for its fiction list, and hence it bought the novel (plus a second book) in a major pre-empt deal! Read the rest of the article here.

In another piece, Publishers Weekly highlighted Dixon's unique trajectory from Emmy-nominated screenwriter to novelist.  Novels have a particular advantage over screenplays for Dixon, as she explains in this excerpt:

When you write screenplays, says Dixon, you are creating a blueprint of a story others will execute. “Especially in animated television,” she adds, because she is not an animator. No matter how successful Dixon has been in Hollywood—where she never thought she’d end up—she says she feels most at home writing novels because she is creating the whole story herself.

Read more about Dixon's TV-to-books transition here.

Below are some of the extraordinary reviews we've received in for The Book of Someday:

“This haunting tale is an excellent piece of escapism that will put a pang in your heart and, sometimes, a chill in your bones.” --Shelf Awareness, starred review

“Compelling, emotionally driven...Reminiscent of Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, and Carol Cassella...Enchanting.” --Booklist

“Unusual, suspenseful.” --Library Journal

“A real page-turner.” --Kirkus

“The reader quickly becomes enmeshed.” --BookPage

“Dixon creates beautifully broken characters whose stories are as touching as they are invigorating...A stunning and heartbreaking story.” --San Francisco Book Review

MARGOT BY JILLIAN CANTOR, a lead fall fiction title from Riverhead, tells a unique “what if” story: What if Anne Frank's sister, Margot Frank, had survived? In Cantor's sensitive imagining of this possibility, Margot has escaped to America and is living as a secretary in 1950s Philadelphia. Yet when The Diary of Anne Frank comes to movie theaters, her past and present collide.

Jillian Cantor

Cantor chose to write about Margot Franklin in part because, as an older sister herself, Cantor identified quite a lot with Margot when she read The Diary of Anne Frank as a child.

An exclusive Time feature article and interview with Cantor explores more about Cantor's inspiration, her sensitive subject matter, and her writing process:

Was she worried about treading on what many readers consider sacred text? Only after the fact, it seems. "There’s been so much written about Anne over the years...." [Cantor] says. "...But really nothing has been written about Margot...So I felt like I wanted to tell her story and when I was writing, I didn’t think about anybody reading it. I didn't think about what other people would say. I just sort of thought 'well this is a story that I need to tell. And this'd be a book I would want to read.'"

Read the rest of the article here.

The New York Times Book Review and USA Today also featured Margot in write-ups. O Magazine did a piece on it, too, calling Margot “an ode to the adoration and competition between sisters who were once so close.” O Magazine's piece is below:

But Margot hasn't only caught the eyes of the press.  Each month Library Reads compiles the top ten books librarians across the country have loved most. Margot was one of their September picks.

Below are more of the fabulous reviews Margot has received since its publication:

“Cantor's re-imagining of Margot's life is believable and wistful...A heartbreakingly masterful corollary, ultimately commemorating the abbreviated life of this remarkable young woman.” --Shelf Awareness, starred review

“Daring...This story of sisterly rivalry, sacrifice, and love survives and thrives.” --Booklist

“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Margot since I finished this book. Highly recommended.” --Historical Novel Society

Intriguing...Compelling sensitivity.” --USA Today

“A convincing, engaging might-have-been.” --People

Ingenious...Will have you smiling--and fighting off tears.” --Ladies Home Journal, October 2013 Book Club Pick

Magnetic characters and the book’s exploration of the complexities of identity and memory make Margot a compelling read.” --Jewish Book Council

“Cantor brings Margot to life with a beautifully raw sense of immediacy.” --Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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