Electric Monkey, the Nibbie-shortlisted YA imprint of Egmont Books, has made a lightning-strike pre-empt to acquire Blackout, the blockbuster commercial romance of the summer and collaboration between six bestselling and award-winning Black authors: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon. Liz Bankes, Fiction Editorial Director, and Lindsey Heaven, Fiction Publishing Director, at Egmont Books, a division of HarperCollins, signed the deal for UK & Commonwealth rights with Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency. The book has sold in pre-empts and auctions in all major territories around the world.
When a heatwave plunges New York City into darkness, sparks fly for thirteen teenagers caught up in the blackout. From the exes who have to bury their rivalry and walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn in time to kick off a block party, to the two boys trapped on the subway who come face-to-face with their feelings and the pair of best friends stuck in the library and surrounded by love stories and one very big secret, they are all about to see that when the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths, love blossoms, friendship transforms, and all possibilities take flight.
Six of today’s biggest stars of the YA world bring all the electricity of love to a collection of charming, hilarious and heartbreaking tales that shine the brightest light through the dark.
Dhonielle Clayton said: “Blackout is our love letter to love, to New York City, and to Black teens. Our reminder to them that their stories, their joy, their love is valid and worthy of being spotlighted. I’m thrilled that this book has found a wonderful home with Egmont in the UK. We know that this fantastic team will make sure the book finds readers. We are thrilled to be part of this amazing publishing family.”
Liz Bankes, Fiction Editorial Director at Egmont Books, said: “We’d long been looking for a commercial romance to fall in love with, but to find six love stories from six of the biggest and most exciting voices in YA is a happy ending beyond anything we could have dreamed of! We’re thrilled to welcome Dhonielle, Tiffany, Nic, Angie, Ashley and Nicola to the Electric Monkey list and to be publishing these heart-soaring Black love stories in the UK. And we’re doubly delighted to be collaborating with our colleagues at HarperCollins US for a truly global launch of the book that the world needs in their lives next summer.”
Tiffany D. Jackson said: “This is one of those projects that was born out of love in the perfect storm. I’m so excited to bring this story, set in my city, to life.”
Nic Stone said “There is no fiercer form of rebellion than telling love stories about kids who are often told they’re unworthy of them at a time like the one we’re living in. Blackout was a balm to all of our souls while writing it, and we hope it’ll be equally as healing to readers.”
Angie Thomas said: “It’s an honor to be involved in such a beautiful project that will undoubtedly bring joy to so many young readers.”
Ashley Woodfolk said: “Books have the unique ability to show the world that Black and brown people feel and love and hurt and grow in the same way everyone else does, and this is an irreplaceable part of making our lives matter. At a time like this, in a country like ours, books like Blackout matter more than ever, and I’m so proud to be a part of a story centering and celebrating Black love and joy.”
Nicola Yoon said: “Blackout shows us a world where Black kids fall in love, follow their bliss, and simply experience the full measure of their humanity. I’m beyond proud to be a part of this joyous book with these incredible authors.”
About the authors
DHONIELLE CLAYTON is the New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series and the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things duology (soon to be a Netflix original series). She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and owner and co-founder of CAKE Literary.
TIFFANY D. JACKSON is the New York Times bestselling author of Grown; Allegedly; Monday’s Not Coming, a Walter Dean Myers Honor Book and Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner; and Let Me Hear a Rhyme.
NIC STONE is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of William C. Morris Award finalist Dear Martin, Dear Justyce, Odd One Out, Jackpot, and Clean Getaway, and the Shuri novel series with Marvel Comics
ANGIE THOMAS’s award-winning, acclaimed debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Fox 2000. She is also the author of On the Come Up and Concrete Rose.
ASHLEY WOODFOLK worked in children’s book publishing before becoming an author full-time. Her novels include the highly-acclaimed The Beauty that Remains and When You Were Everything.
NICOLA YOON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star, both of which have been adapted into major motion pictures. She is a National Book Award finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book recipient, and a Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. She’s also co-publisher of Joy Revolution, a Random House USA young adult imprint focused on love stories starring people of colour.
Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon, publishes 24th June 2021 from Electric Monkey, for readers 12+