Stacey Kade has been one of the few constants in my publishing life. When I was an eager and hungry assistant editor, I acquired her touching and hilarious Ghost and the Goth Trilogy: The Ghost and the Goth, Queen of the Dead, and Body & Soul. As an enthusiastic and hungry associate editor, I signed up her sexy, dark Project Paper Doll series: The Rules, The Hunt, and The Trials. I departed Disney Hyperion after editing the first draft of The Hunt, and I was sad to leave that amazing series behind. Still, I had faith that Stacey and I would work together again. And as a savvy and hungry senior editor at S & S BFYR, I acquired Stacey's first contemporary YA novel, Life, After. That novel, coming out in Fall 2016, follows a young man who has lost his faith, and because he's a pastor's son, he really has lost his whole sense of self.
And now, as a wise and hungry executive editor, I have bought Stacey's next YA novel, Finding Felicity. Shortly after Stacey finished the first draft of Life, After, we got on the phone to talk about what she wanted to do next. The conversation went a little something like this.
Stacey Kade: Okay, so this next idea is rough, I've only just started developing it. But it begins with a girl, Caroline, on the day of her high school graduation, and she's having a party. Her mom, who is this really busy doctor, has pulled out all the stops and is throwing this big event for Caroline. But here's the thing--no one is coming to the party. Because...Caroline has completely fabricated her entire social life!
Christian Trimmer: [gasp]
SK: Uh huh, she's made up friends, parties, extracurricular activities. And get this--they're all based on late nineties TV shows. So her friends are people like Joey and Willow and Felicity--
CT: Do that one.
CT: That's the one. Do that one.
SK: Really? Do you want to hear more?
CT: Don't need to hear more. Do that one.
I'll admit I'm a bit of a crazy Felicity fan. I present exhibit A:
Now, I'm not so crazy as to sign up a book just because the protagonist also enjoys Felicity. But I loved the premise--a slightly odd young woman is determined to set aside the fictional social life she created in high school and make some real, three-dimensional friends in college. And if she turns to her hero Felicity Porter for guidance, so be it. I've also been eager to work on a book set in college, and the hook is super timely--1990s nostalgia is back in full force.
(I'll admit that I begged Stacey to include a cameo of Keri Russell in the novel. My dream is to run into Keri on the street--we live in the same neighborhood--and pass her a copy of the book.)
I'll leave you with this.