Daugherty and Rozenfeld co-write YA series

Daugherty and Rozenfeld co-write YA series

CJ Daugherty has teamed up with French author Carina Rozenfeld to write a new YA series set in London and Paris.

The two-part series is a supernatural adventure story and will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The first book, The Secret Fire, will hit shelves in September 2015, with a second title to follow.

Daugherty said she knows Rozenfeld, a journalist and author of several novels published in France, because they have the same French publisher – Robert Laffont.

She said: “I speak French well enough to read Carina's books, so I knew she was a seriously talented writer.  When she mentioned her books had never been translated into English, I suggested she should write a book in English. But after we talked some more we decided it would be more fun to write that book together.”

The Secret Fire is about two teenagers – French boy Sacha Winters and English girl Taylor Montclair. The two live hundreds of miles apart but have eight weeks to meet and save the world.

The two writers came up the story together. Daugherty said: “One Saturday about a year or so ago, we sketched out the storyline via email. Carina was interested in the idea of an old, almost forgotten curse or prophecy. We both wanted magic but I felt the book would be more complex and interesting if it was about alchemists dabbling in demonology rather than straight-up witches. By the end of that day, we were sending each other 18th-century books from the Guggenheim Project and snippets from Nostradamus.”

Daugherty wrote her chapters in English and Rozenfeld wrote hers in French before translating them into English.

Karen Ball, publisher at Atom and LBYR, who acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights in a two-book deal from Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency, said the first chapter of the book blew her away.

“I already knew CJ Daugherty’s talents as a powerful and dramatic YA author, but nothing prepared me for the new heights she would scale in this writing partnership,” she said. “I am a big fan of creative collaborations and am thrilled and intrigued by the way Carina and Christi have successfully worked together on an exciting new project.”

The series will be published in French but “the deal is still being hammered out”, said Daugherty. “We will be announcing that and more international deals very soon”.

Daugherty is also planning on writing a series of prequel novellas to run concurrently with the series, set at St Wilfred’s, a fictional Oxford college in The Secret Fire that was founded by alchemists and is staffed by demon hunters.