Guest Post: Jordan Hamessley on BLEEDING EARTH!
Hello, Publishing Crawl! It’s been a while!
Today is the pub day of Kaitlin Ward’s debut YA horror novel, Bleeding Earth!
Bleeding Earth was my first YA acquisition after I moved to Egmont USA. I vividly remember reading the opening sequence on the subway, being horrified in the best way possible, and then staying up the rest of the night reading it. I proudly championed Kaitlin’s novel, which I lovingly called “the bloodiest book I have ever read,” through the acquisitions process, highlighting the lesbian relationship at the heart of the book and Kaitlin’s evocative and disturbing prose.
Kaitlin and I spent the summer of 2014 editing the book and digging deeper into the psyche of the main character, Lea, as she was plunged into an apocalyptic nightmare. As a well-known lover of horror, it was an absolute pleasure for me to edit.
Sadly, in January of last year, Egmont USA announced its closure, and I was given the task of calling my authors and agents to deliver the news. It will go down as one of the most difficult days of my career. I had only been at Egmont for a year, so none of my acquisitions had been published yet, and a majority of them were debuts. So often we hear stories of agents and editors making “the call” to tell an author that their book is going to be published. I never imagined having to make the opposite call, multiple times in one day. It was heartbreaking.
Happily, many of Egmont's authors quickly found editors at other publishing houses, and I’m excited to say that 2016 will be a year filled with fantastic books that originated at Egmont and were blessed to find another home that embraced them and brought them out into the world.
Kaitlin’s book is one of those saved books.
Shortly after the closure of Egmont was announced, I was approached by Adaptive Studios to head up their up-and-coming publishing division. Adaptive’s model focuses on finding abandoned intellectual property and giving it new life. The majority of our work comes from screenplays that sold into Hollywood but never made it to the screen. I quickly realized that there was some “abandoned content” waiting for a home.
I called Kaitlin’s brilliant agent Sarah LaPolla and made an offer to buy Bleeding Earth. Again.
Due to Adaptive’s Los Angeles-focused team, we were able to create some fantastic marketing materials to promote the book. In addition to our publishing line, Adaptive also produced the most recent season of Project Greenlight, and one of the finalists, Arrius Sorbonne, put together the perfect haunting book trailer for Bleeding Earth that showcases the relationship at the heart of the novel (and plenty of blood).
So today, nearly two years after Kaitlin’s submission came across my desk, the world finally gets the chance to read Bleeding Earth. Enjoy!
Between Mother Nature and human nature, disasters are inevitable.
Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood oozed out of the ground, even through the concrete, even in the water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.
Lea wishes she could ignore the blood. She wishes she could spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn't so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and her girlfriend however she can.
Giveaway: Adaptive Studios is thrilled to offer a signed copy of BLEEDING EARTH for a giveaway! (Domestic)
[hr] JORDAN HAMESSLEY is the Editorial Director of Adaptive Books, an imprint of Adaptive Studios. Prior to Adaptive, Jordan worked as an editor at Egmont USA and Grosset & Dunlap (Penguin Young Readers). She can be found on Twitter talking about television, musical theater, and all things horror.