Daniel Handler takes Lemony Snicket to a new publisher

>> Friday, November 20, 2009

An author leaving one publisher for another--particularly when following a favorite editor--is nothing new. But last week Publishers Weekly reported that Daniel Handler--aka Lemony Snicket, "author" of the Series of Unfortunate Events books--was not only leaving HarperCollins for Little, Brown, he was taking Lemony Snicket with him. From PW:
Under the agreement, Handler will write four Lemony Snicket titles in a new series, with the first due out in 2012. Before that series hits, LBYR will release a Handler young adult novel in 2011 that will feature full-color illustrations by Maira Kalman.
Again, it's not strange that an author would change houses. In this case, it's to follow his longtime editor Susan Rich (who, coincidentally, was also the editor of the Half-Minute Horrors anthology in which I appear.) What does surprise me is that he's going to write more Lemony Snicket books there. It's an awkward situation for both publishers--he'll have new front list titles coming out from Little, Brown, while all his backlist (at least for now) will be with HarperCollins. It's sort of like a television show moving from one network to another. It happens occasionally, but it's a rarity.

I do note that it's not the Baudelaire orphans Handler's taking with him--their story is presumably finished--just the mysterious Mr. Snicket. The books will undoubtedly have the same atmosphere though, and presumably the same narrative voice. It only makes sense that the new series will be built on the foundation of the previous one.

Can anyone else think of a kidlit author who changed publishers and kept writing about the same characters? Or an adult author, for that matter?

In any event, (in case he has Google Alerts like me and happens to read this,) best of luck to Mr. Handler on the move, and the new series. He's a classy guy and a great writer and entertainer.


Gwenda November 20, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

Well, there's Kristin Cashore and the famously amicable release of Fire so she could follow her editor to a new publisher. The two even cross-promote Fire and Graceling. But, yes, fairly rare.

Fabricationist November 20, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

On the adult author question, evidently Scott Turow just did.


Wendi November 20, 2009 at 9:14 PM  

@ Gwenda: Ah yes. We had forgotten that one!

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