June 2011

Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows has been brought back to life and will feature illustrations by EMLA client, Clint Young. The continuing story of Toad, Mole, Ratty, and Badger returns in the tentatively titled The Willows Redux, written by Jacqueline Kelly, whose 2009 debut, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, was a Newbery Honor book. The Willows Redux will be published by Holt Books for Young Readers and edited by Laura Godwin, vice president and publisher of the imprint. The novel is schedule for a fall 2012 release to coincide with a film adaptation of The Wind in the Willows to be directed by Ray Griggs from RG Entertainment.

Publishers Weekly just ran a fantastic article on the sequel interviewing both Kelly and Young:

What especially caught Kelly’s attention was Young’s drawing of Toast, a pig character who is the star of his debut picture book, The Wish Collector, which is under contract with Feiwel and Friends but does not yet have a pub date. “Clint has a lovely kind of naturalistic art, and this little pig character has a spark of life and humor to it that I just loved—and wanted for my characters,” the author says.

“For anyone who is an illustrator, of course this was like the golden cup,” says Young of Kelly’s request that he illustrate The Willows Redux. The artist jumped at the chance to create new renditions of Grahame’s animal characters, which were originally portrayed by Ernest H. Shepard. “I looked closely at what Shepard had done, and put a modern-day twist on it,” he says. “I’m a big fan of The Wind in the Willows and of the anthropomorphic style of those illustrations, so it was easy to slide into that setting and try to capture everything that Jackie has put into her fantastic story. It’s been a real treat.”

Congratulations to both Clint and Jacqueline!

—Erin

It’s big news week around here, with another sale to report—this one for debut author Joshua McCune. Just weeks after first signing with the agency, Joshua was able to attend a group EMLA author event at Austin’s Book People store, during the agency retreat. While it was terrific that so many of us were be able to welcome Joshua to the agency in person, it’s even more exciting to be able to now share his good news, as reported today in Publishers Marketplace:

Joshua McCune’s debut KISSING DRAGONS, set in a future where dragon wars have shaped society, a seventeen-year-old girl becomes caught in a deadly conflict of loyalty between the dragon resistance and the government forces who are trying to wipe them out, in a three-book deal, to Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (NA).

This dark and gritty tale captivated me from the moment I first read it—starting with its tantalizing first line: “When Trish called and begged me to go dragon hunting, I should have trusted my instincts.” I’m so thrilled that readers will soon be introduced some amazing characters in a truly terrifying world. Wait! I mean that in the best possible way…

Huge congrats to you, Joshua!

—Joan

Teach Your Buffalo To Play Drums
Audrey Vernick

As if having her latest book trailer played on the Jumbotron at a baseball stadium over the weekend, preparing for her second picture book starring a buffalo to hit shelves, and anticipating the release of her first novel this fall isn't enough, Audrey Vernick has even more to celebrate: A new book deal!

As announced in Publishers Lunch:

TEACH YOUR BUFFALO TO PLAY DRUMS and SHE LOVED BASEBALL author Audrey Vernick's BOGART & VINNIE: A COMPLETELY MADE-UP STORY OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP, wherein Vinnie, a crazy-happy dog, finds a most unlikely companion when visiting a nature preserve, to Stacy Cantor Abrams at Walker Children's.

Stacy at Walker is also the editor of Audrey's forthcoming picture book SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR, illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds, which debuts this winter.

Congratulations, Audrey!

—Erin

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