Electric Monkey, the YA imprint of Egmont Books, has pre-empted Blackout, a collaboration between six 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, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency. The book has sold in pre-empts and auctions in all major territories around the world, says the publisher.
Aimed at readers aged 12 plus, Blackout is billed as commercial romance and will feature six love stories. The synopsis reads: "When a heatwave plunges New York City into darkness, sparks fly for 13 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."
Bankes commented: "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."
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.”
Yoon added: "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."
Blackout will be published on 24th June 2021.