Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Market Looks Good for Ghosts

Yesterday from Publishers Weekly:

“A weeklong, three-round auction culminated yesterday with Scribner editor-in-chief Nan Graham taking U.S. rights to Audrey Niffenegger’s second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, for a figure reported to be just shy of $5 million…”

“Her Fearful Symmetry
, is described as a 21st-century ghost story and centers on two American teenagers, identical twins, whose lives change when an aunt whom they didn’t know dies and leaves them a flat overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London. Feeling that their lives can finally begin, the twins have no idea that they’ve been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, including that of their dead aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the twins’ mother, and in fact can’t seem to leave the flat.”

I have so many thoughts on this. First, WOW. Publishing is not dead. Of course the advance has something to do with her brilliant writing and The Time Traveler’s Wife selling a bajillion copies. However, it means publisher’s still believe books sell.

I was both elated and crushed at the plot details of Her Fearful Symmetry. You see, in my WIP, one of the characters lives across from Highgate Cemetery. Another shares a flat with a ghost. Yes, I started writing it ages before I learned about her book. In THE ARCHITECT AT HIGHGATE CEMETERY, an art restoration specialist uncovers objects hidden by a wronged nineteenth century architect, including design plans and a letter incriminating the architect of record of stealing more than ideas.

Several books have taken place in Highgate, Tracy Chevalier’s Falling Angels to name one. Interesting tidbit: While researching her book, Niffenegger ran into Chevalier, who was volunteering at the cemetery. Visit the cemetery’s official website here to learn why it’s such an intriguing setting.

Thanks to agent Nathan Bransford's “Negativity Week (which is actually short for How To Remain Positive in the Face of Negativity But That's Too Long of a Blog Title Week, or HTRPITFONBTTLOABTW for short)” I choose to look at it positively.

Yesterday, I got another agent request to read THE BODLEY BOYS. Indeed, the market looks good for ghosts!

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