I have nothing but respect and admiration for Orca Books‘ editor Sarah Harvey. Working with Sarah on my novel The Yo-Yo Prophet in 2011 was a delight, and I was keen to work with her again. Sarah is an astute editor and, in case you don’t know, she’s also the author of at least ten books for kids and teens, so she knows both sides of the editorial process. (You can check out Sarah’s books here, including both novels and non-fiction titles as well as a picture book.)
In June 2012, Sarah emailed a number of authors about her idea for a new Orca series. Since young teens have become obsessed with the performing arts, shown in part by the popularity of such TV shows as American Idol, Glee and So You Think You Can Dance, why not publish a performing arts series of short, contemporary novels aimed at 11- to 14-year-olds?
It was an idea that caught my attention right away. With a lifelong love of theatre and two daughters at a performing arts high school, I began playing with possible premises. Now, I’m pleased that Cut the Lights will be one of three debut titles in the Limelights series this October, with many more titles coming from a slew of talented authors over the next few years.
Here’s a glimpse into Sarah’s ideas about the series and her personal fondness for the performing arts: