New book and new publisher for 2019!

Finally!

I am SO thrilled to finally be able to share this news! THE REST OF THE STORY, my fourteenth (!) novel, will be out on June 4th from Harpercollins. From AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — Sarah Dessen, one of the country’s most popular authors for teenagers, has a new publisher.

HarperCollins Publishers announced Monday that it will release Dessen’s “The Rest of the Story” on June 4. Dessen, whose many best-sellers include “Saint Anything” and “The Moon and More,” was previously published by Penguin Random House. HarperCollins is describing the new novel as a “big-hearted, sweeping” narrative of a girl reconnecting with family members she hasn’t seen in years. 

I started this book in late March, after I set aside ANOTHER book that I’d begun in January. I was feeling pretty lost and worried I wasn’t going to be able to write another book (2018 has been TOUGH, y’all) but I kept writing anyway, hoping for the best. Some books are fun to write! This was not one of those. Some books are hard but you feel great about them when you finish! This was not that book either. When I was done in late July, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and stay there.

But then, I got some sleep. (Remember what Mariah told us back in the 90s: Sleep Deprivation is real!) And I sent the book to my agent, hoping maybe it was better than I thought. Turns out, she liked it. A lot. So I dove back in, editing and revising. But the real challenge was still ahead.

(I feel like there should be a commercial break here, but this is a blog post, so I’ll just keep going.)

Many of you know that Viking, an imprint of Penguin Books for Young Readers, was my longtime publisher. I had been with them since I was a twenty-eight year old waitress! But I am 48 now: that’s 20 years. I feel like I grew up with my Penguin friends: they are really family to me, especially my longtime editor Regina Hayes. At this point in my life, though, it seemed like maybe it was time to see what else was out there, both for myself and my books. I was really impressed with HarperCollins, as well as the Balzer and Bray imprint, for what they were doing to showcase many facets of their authors. After a lot of meetings and thinking, I decided to go with them for this new book. While it’s bittersweet in MANY ways, I am really excited about what it ahead, for both myself and this novel, which is kind of my heart right now, if I’m honest. Emma Saylor, my narrator, starts a summer thinking it will go one way, when it turns out completely differently. A whole new world opens up for her, and in the last few months as I’ve made this decision, the same has happened for me.

So I’m excited. And nervous. (I am always nervous, though. It is the way I am wired, unfortunately!) And I CAN’T wait to share this novel with you in June! Harpercollins and B+B are planning tons of fun stuff that we’ll share as it gets closer. For now, I just want to say THANK YOU for waiting so patiently for a new book, and being so enthusiastic now that it has been announced. It means the world to me.

Have a good weekend, everyone!