Cramazing Good News Revealed

So, almost three weeks ago, THIS happened.

Putnam Kids Ponies Up for YA Debut
In a high six-figure world rights deal, Arianne Lewin, executive editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, bought three books by Jessica Spotswood, including the debut novel Born Wicked (formerly called Thrice Blessed). Agent Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich brokered the deal for Spotswood. Born Wicked, set in what the publisher calls “a world of tea parties, engagements, and elegant dresses,” follows the Cahill sisters, a trio of teen witches who must hide their powers in order to save themselves from being shipped off to prison or a mental ward. Spotswood, who is from a small Pennsylvania town, lives in Washington, D.C.

That’s the book formerly known as THRICE BLESSED. My most favorite thing I’ve written.

I’m still in shock.

Happy, happy shock.

I love this book so much. It was an absolute joy to write. I hoped an editor would fall in love with it the way my crit partners have. But the reaction was completely unexpected. 9 requests within the first hour the DGLM newsletter went out. 12 editors interested by the following Tuesday morning. The Penguin pre-empt, and a choice between two awesomely enthusiastic editors. My first book was shelved after nine months on sub. I didn’t even have the temerity to dream about this.

I’m so grateful to Awesome Agent Jim for–well, everything. To Editor Ari (my editor!!!) for loving my story. To my friends, for helping me celebrate without social media for three weeks. To Steve, for telling me I do too deserve it.

I’m going to try really, really hard to deserve it. To make this story the absolute best I can.

I can’t wait to share Cate and her sisters with you.

<3 <3 <3

ETA: Here’s the Penguin Press Release, which has a little more info:



Born Wicked: The Cahill Witch Chronicles scheduled for publication in 2012

New York, New York – March 7, 2011 – G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers has acquired Jessica Spotswood’s debut novel Born Wicked, formerly titled Thrice Blessed, it was announced today by Jennifer Besser, Vice President and Publisher of G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. Set in a world of tea parties, engagements, and elegant dresses, the novel follows Cate Cahill and her two sisters, witches who must hide their extraordinary magic from the Priests of the Brotherhood.  If their secret is revealed, it could mean an asylum, a prison ship, or an early grave. The novel is part of a three-book deal brokered by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and Arianne Lewin, Executive Editor of G.P. Putnam Sons Books for Young Readers, who will edit the novel. Putnam has world rights.

Arianne Lewin commented, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring such a talented new writer to Putnam.  Born Wicked is truly a stand-out novel, full of romance, beguiling mystery, and fresh characters.”

Jim McCarthy said “Jessica is a fabulous writer who I’m very proud to work with, and I’m tremendously excited that she will be published by the enthusiastic and wonderful team at Putnam.”


56 Responses

  1. Alissa

    I can't say enough how happy I am for you! You do give me hope and motivation as I am toiling away trying to get my MFA. You absolutely deserve it and I am so looking forward to celebrating with you. And of course I am excited to read it and have my very own, official signed copy (and give them to everyone I know!)

    1. Thank you, Frankie! And thanks for boosting the signal everywhere!

      I really can't believe what I said I wanted in Branson is coming true. That was, like, my five-year plan; I never dreamed writing full-time would happen so quickly! I hope it's only the first of lots of our dreams & goal coming true for that group!

  2. I was weirded out to see I'd already commented here and then realized that was Tiffany Schmidt above. LOL! Anyway, the words–they're all taken right out of my mouth. V. excited and happy for you! To think we were just sitting in that room w/your to-be editor a little over a month ago!!! xoxo

    1. I know! And Lee Wind was all, "You have a book going out soon? You should introduce yourself to Ari!" And I was too scared! And now she's my editor! (And a bril one, too. My edit letter is AMAZING. I'm so excited to get back to work!)

    1. So many hugs! I can't wait to fly out and visit you this fall. Thank you, O Great Book Deal Gods!

      Also, I got my edit letter & when you're done with your paper, you can see it if you want. 😉

      Also-also, I got your Christmas gifts & they are super-chic. Thank you!

  3. Stefanie

    This is so awesome! We know you've worked so hard for this, so it's great to see you becoming such a success! I'll be joining the line with my copy for signing. 🙂

  4. Sarah

    I still don't have the right words to tell you how happy I am for you other than to echo everyone else. Congratulations AND you DO most certainly deserve this. Cannot wait to read it!

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I can't wait to celebrate with you guys. Maybe dinner before one of Steve's performances of Res King next month? There will also be a mammoth birthday/book deal/quit-working-full-time party.

  5. Thank you, Stef! It's hard to believe it's really-truly real. I emailed my agent the day after the deal and was all: "Real or not real?" ala Hunger Games. Of course, being a lovable smartass, he was like, "Nah, you were dreaming! J/k, it's still real!"

    1. (Thanks to Pat too.)

      I emailed the profs & they all emailed me right back this morning. It was so nice! Dale is already trying to set up something for me to come speak at WAC sometime. The WAC PR people contacted my publicist. I have a publicist. How weird is that?

  6. Seeyouupside

    fgjsgfjlgoehgbdkgjjsggohigsjf!!!! I've been a follower of your blog since 2008/2009, and I remember watching when you got your agent (and congratulating you) and watching as your first book went on sub and got shelved (it sounded so cool.) and watching as you wrote Thrice and freakin' raved every time you blogged about it (all I imagined when reading that was – pink, tea parties, corsets, dresses and balls), and NOW I AM SOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU WITH THE DEAL!! Holy holy holy cow!!!! Eat some Georgetown cupcakes in celebration!!! A SIX FIGURE DEAL? HOLY, HOLY COW!!!!!!! Best wishes!

    1. RACHEL! I was just thinking about you like last week and wondering how you were. Are you online anywhere or did you give that up to focus on school? I hope everything is going well!

      Thank you SO MUCH for all your good wishes and for following along throughout the whole crazy process. I am really over-the-moon excited. I still can't believe it's real!

  7. You wrote a book–well book *series*– with tea parties, witches, pretty dresses and the possibility of mental wards? When can I have it?!?

    Also, humongous congratulations for how amazingly awesome your book deal sounds 😀

    and I have no cake but I'm going to go have some of the key lime pie in my kitchen in celebration just because!

    (and I'm going to fall you on Twitter and your blog now, too)

    1. jessica_shea

      Yay, thank you so much! I'm so excited that you want to read it! And I hope you enjoyed that key lime pie. 😀

      BORN WICKED should be out Spring 2012, with ARCs this fall.

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