Strange Chemistry, the YA imprint of Angry Robot Books, has announced the signing of Rachel Neumeier, in a two-book World English Rights deal concluded by Strange Chemistry’s editor Amanda Rutter and Caitlin Blasdell of Liza Dawson Associates.
The first book, YA Paranormal Fantasy novel Black Dog, will be published in Spring 2014, with a sequel to follow towards the end of 2014.
Black Dog follows, Natividad a, Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases – like for Natividad’s father and older brother – Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.
But before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them. Their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered by black dogs. Their parents die protecting them. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.
In the snowy forests of Vermont they are discovered by Ezekiel Korte, despite his youth the strongest black dog at Dimilioc and the appointed pack executioner. Intrigued by Natividad he takes them to Dimilioc instead of killing them.
Now they must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. Alejandro must prove he can learn loyalty and control even without his sister’s Pure magic. Natividad’s twin Miguel must prove that an ordinary human can be more than a burden to be protected. And even at Dimilioc a Pure girl like Natividad cannot remain unclaimed to cause fighting and distraction. If she is to stay she must choose a black dog mate.
But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.
Neumeier started writing in graduate school as a break from research, but years ago allowed her hobbies take over her life. Along with writing both adult and young adult fantasy, she now gardens, cooks Indian food, breeds and shows Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and occasionally finds time to read.
Her most recent young adult novel, The Floating Islands, was a Junior Library Guild selection and was selected by Kirkus as a best book of 2011. Her most recent adult title, House of Shadows, has also received excellent reviews.
Of her deal with Strange Chemistry, Neumeier said:
Having had the chance to chat with plenty of other authors in the last few years about their experiences with big six publishers vs. smaller presses, I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to see what it’s like working with a mid-size house. I’m really impressed with Strange Chemistry’s line-up of authors and titles and with their snazzy website, all of which makes it clear they’re really on the ball.”