From almost the beginning of my career and especially in the last five years, people have been asking/telling me the same thing:
Will you ever write a vampire book? C’mon.
You know who you are. And mostly I said no, because even though I love vampires (and I have loved vampires a looooong time — I wore a vampire cape to middle school just for the heck of it; I reread INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE about a million times in high school; I did my eighth grade research paper on vampire folklore; hell, I begged my way into writing the introduction to a Puffin Classics edition of DRACULA not that long ago)* it always seemed like the wrong time. Vampires were either so hot that there seemed to be no room in the market or so over that there seemed to be no room in the market either.
But then, a couple of years ago, while I was waiting to get back my editor’s edits on WHITE CAT, I wrote the short story, “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” for THE ETERNAL KISS, a vampire anthology. And it was incredibly strange, because I started it thinking I had nothing to say about vampires and I wound up having a lot to say after all.
So much that I decided I wanted to go back to that world and tell a different story. And now, it’s going to be a book! Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:
NEW YORK, NY [October 5, 2011]—The vampire genre receives a refreshing and inventive new twist through the master storytelling of renowned contemporary fantasy author Holly Black. The bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Tithe and the hugely popular The Spiderwick Chronicles series, will publish her upcoming young adult title, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, it was announced today by Megan Tingley, the division’s Senior Vice President and Publisher. Acquired in a heated, five-house auction by Fiction Editorial Director Alvina Ling, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown will be edited by Ling and release in Fall 2013 as the first in a two-book deal for world English, electronic, and audio rights negotiated with Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary. Already eagerly anticipated abroad, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown will simultaneously release in the UK from sister company Orion in print, electronic, and audio editions.
Conceived of and originally published to great acclaim as a short story, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is set in the not-so-distant future, where the vampire population has surged, resulting in the establishment of Coldtowns, quarantined cities of vampires and humans where predator and prey coexist in a never-ending blood party of revelry. These isolated meccas of debauchery are the pillars of pop culture, with vlogs, live feeds, and YouTube videos constantly streaming from the endless parties at vampire mansions. Drawn into this bizarre and dangerous world is Tana, who willingly enters Coldtown with an infected ex-boyfriend on the brink of turning and a mysterious vampire with a tortured past intent on seeking revenge. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original vampire story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing.
Here is the announcement from Indigo in the UK (which is part of the Orion group, who also published The Curse Workers there).
I am really, really excited. And nervous. And about a third of the way finished. It’s fun. And bloody. And fun. So, you might have some questions. Maybe these answers will help.
Q. Is Coldtown a series or just one book?
A: THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is going to be a single, fat stand-alone book.
Q. Does it have the same characters as the short story did? Will we find out what happened with Matilda and Dante?
A: No. This story is about a different girl, named Tana. We might hear about Matilda and maybe even see her again, but this isn’t the same story, even if it does have the same title.
Q. So why does it have the same title as the short story?
A: I really, really, really liked the title and there is a long tradition of novels loosely based on short stories, with the same or similar titles (Greg Bear’s BLOOD MAGIC, for one).
Q. Does this mean no more faerie books?
A: It doesn’t mean that, it just means that a faerie book won’t be my next YA project after Curse Workers. However, I think Coldtown has some of the same feel of my faerie books. And there is a second YA book in that announcement, one that I haven’t figured out what it is going to be yet.
Q. Wait, what about the Curse Workers books? What does this mean for them?
A. The third book of the Curse Workers series, BLACK HEART, is coming out this April and finishes up the arc that starts in WHITE CAT (coincidentally, I just got first pass pages today so it is starting to look very book-like). There’s room for lots and lots more stories in that world, but this is a definite stopping place. I can’t wait for you guys to see how it ends!
Q. Weren’t you talking about some other book? A middle grade? With spooky dolls? Is that still happening?
A. I am working on DOLL BONES right now. And I drove out to Ohio last week to do lots of research on graveyards and bone china and general landscape of the area where I’m setting it. Probably will come out Spring of 2013, although that’s a total guess. Waiting to hear from my editor, who will probably give me more details after I actually turn in a manuscript. But it’s a spooky story about three friends on a road trip to bury a ghost.
*You did not know these things about me, did you? I didn’t even tell you about the custom fangs I have had since college that attach to my teeth with Fixodent.