The new publisher Daphne Press has arrived The lightsa “haunting” contemporary YA fantasy by Susan Dennard.
The acquisition, the first made by the press since its launch in 2021, was secured by Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary, who secured the UK and Commonwealth rights to the trilogy. The e-book release will coincide with the US on November 8, followed by a paperback release in early 2023, with book two releasing later in the year.
“The lights is a haunting, high-octane contemporary fantasy about the magic it takes to face your fears in a nightmare-filled forest, and the courage it takes to face the secrets that lurk in the dark corners of your own family. . Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns,” the synopsis explains. “You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside of town just might kill you. Only the Luminaries, a society of ancient guardians, stand between humanity and the nightmares of the forest that arise each night.”
Initially launched as a “choose your own story” on Twitter, Dennard’s pre-lockdown project attracted thousands of participants who grew into an entire online community. Every day, Dennard added to the story featuring its teenage protagonist, Winnie, and allowed readers to vote on what action they wanted her to take.
Daphne Tonge, Founder and Publisher, said, “We are delighted that Susan and the team at New Leaf have entrusted us with this brilliant new duology. Readers will fall in love with Winnie and be captivated by the mysteries of Hemlock Falls. We brought the nightmares to life by commissioning detailed artwork from Kerby Rosanes (who also worked on the covers for Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight series and vampire empire) throughout the book. We have created a beautiful package for The lights and are delighted to reveal it.”
The press was started as a branch of book subscription and special editions company Illumicrate, and expanded to publish original works. He now intends to focus on acquiring commercial fiction from a wide range of voices and aims to champion early writers and stories from typically underrepresented backgrounds.
“Daphne Press is a wonderful opportunity to use our reach to champion the books we are passionate about and work collaboratively with authors,” Tonge added. “We are in a unique position as a publisher and retailer to launch books in young adult and crossover spaces. We also plan to strengthen our team in an inclusive way, starting with the ability to work entirely remotely within Our hope is to bring change and put the spotlight on talent.