The official Publishers Weekly announcement:
Lucia Macro at HarperCollins’s William Morrow imprint acquired world English rights to Cat Winters’s novel, The Uninvited. The book, which Morrow compares to The Night Circus and The Thirteenth Tale, is a paranormal work set during the influenza pandemic of 1918. Winters, who was represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, was a finalist for the YALSA’s 2014 Morris Award, for her novel In the Shadow of Blackbirds.
The story behind the sale of The Uninvited is a pretty remarkable one. Let me start by explaining that I spent close to fifteen years trying to sell other adult fiction manuscripts, with the help of two different agents, but the books never found a publishing home.
In October of this year—just two months ago—Lucia Macro, a HarperCollins vice president and executive editor, picked up a copy of my debut YA novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, at Powell's Books in the Portland, Oregon, airport. She read the book during her flight back to New York, and then she contacted my agent, Barbara Poelle, and asked if I would be interested in writing a novel set in the same time period for an adult audience.
Admittedly, I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to revisit the fall of 1918. However, as I was busily working on revisions for my second YA novel, The Cure for Dreaming, a plot developed in my head. After I turned in my edits for The Cure, I sat down and wrote a sample chapter and a synopsis for an entirely different take on life in 1918. Barbara submitted the proposal for The Uninvited before Thanksgiving, and on December 2, less than two weeks later, we received the offer!
I started seriously writing adult fiction way back in 1994. In 2011, I got my first big break with a young adult novel and believed I would never think of writing for the adult market ever again. However, almost twenty years after setting out on this particular path, I finally have my adult fiction overnight success story!
This news doesn't mean I'm abandoning my young adult readers. The Cure for Dreaming will be released Fall 2014, and I already started work on a third YA novel that I haven't yet shown to my agent, plus I'm a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. I will need to put the third YA novel aside while I write the rest of The Uninvited, but I'm really looking forward to revisiting the book this upcoming summer. And I can't wait to share more details about The Uninvited!
Writers: Keep writing. Keep believing in yourself.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
― George Eliot