Darcey Rosenblatt’s debut novel was released THIS WEEK by Henry Holt/Macmillan. LOST BOYS, a YA novel of historical fiction, tells the story of a 12-year old Iranian boy sent to fight in the Iran Iraq war in 1982. We can’t wait to delve into this lyrical story of music and courage in the face of war. Today we have the pleasure to take a peek into the editorial process of LOST BOYS by hearing from Darcey’s editor, Sally Doherty.
Q: What was it about Darcey Rosenblatt’s LOST BOYS that first got you interested in acquiring it?
A. I was captivated by the opening scene, especially the first few lines. What kind of mother is this? What kind of life was Reza living? I needed to know, and so I kept reading and could not put it down.
Q: Were you actively trying to find a historical fiction manuscript that touched on some of the themes from the novel or was this a book you didn’t even know you were looking for?
A: I had enjoyed editing historical fiction in the past but was not necessarily looking for more. Erin Murphy has an incredible instinct for what might appeal to which editor, and she thought of me for this story, and she was right.
Q: Tell me a bit about what you looked for throughout the editing process for LOST BOYS?
A: For me, the key to this novel was to keep the tension tight from beginning to end. This is, of course, true for any story, but because the book opens with a startling scene and the ending is a chase sequence, we didn’t want the plot to sag in the middle, as some stories tend to do. It’s difficult to keep momentum going, particularly when the characters are hanging around in a POW camp, but Darcey pulled it off, as I knew she would.
Q: Who is you favorite character from the book and why are you drawn to them?
A: It has to be the hero, Reza, because Darcey has made him come alive for me. I think I would know him if he walked down the street toward me, and I would like to hang out with him and hear him play the tar.
Q: Who do you think is the target audience for this book? Is there someone you imagine as the perfect reader?
A: Because the hero is male, it’s natural to assume that the main audience will be boys approximately 10–14 years old. But because the characters are so memorable, I think girls will also be swept up in the vivid world of the story. It’s also a good story for any reluctant reader given the captivating, fast-paced plot.
Thanks so much, Sally! It’s so great to get an inside peek on how an editor approaches a project. We here on the EMU Debut team think YOU reading this blog post interview are the perfect reader for LOST BOYS and we hope you’ll pick up a copy.
For more information on Darcey Rosenblatt, or the inspiration of LOST BOYS check out this post on Darcey’s blog.