“Untitled Book #3” has a title: Take a Bow! The attendees at the NYPL's Teen Author Night a couple weeks ago not only got to see me in the Pajants (see previous blog), but were the first to hear the title when my editor, the fabulous David Levithan, told me that I could reveal it (I didn't believe him at first and I'm sure the audience thought I was insane for arguing with David about it!). It's not like the title was some big secret, but for awhile I didn't have a confirmed title, so I got used to calling it "Untitled Book #3." Take a Bow will be coming out in Spring 2012 from Point/Scholastic. The inspiration came from my love of music as a child and my obsession with performing arts high schools. I blame the movie Fame - the original - for my assumption growing up that high school kids regularly broke into song during lunch. I truly believe the world would be a better place if we lived in a musical. Have an issue? Dance it out!
As I started doing research on performing arts high schools, I realized how competitive they are. There's one school that requires the students to re-audition every semester. How stressful would that be? Performing arts schools generally have longer school days and you're constantly competing against your friends for roles or performance spots. It got me thinking: What kind of strain would that put on relationships? Let's face it, high school is stressful enough already.
Take a Bow takes place at the (fictional) New York City School of the Creative and Performing Arts and follows four students -- trusting (and a little naïve) Emme, diva-in-training Sophie, reluctant frontman Ethan, and former child star Carter -- as they prepare for the Senior Showcase recital, where recruits from colleges, dance academies, etc. scope out the graduating class. With the competition heating up, there is plenty of drama and backstabbing with a little humor and romance thrown in. After all, this IS high school.
I'm really looking forward to sharing more about the book with you (including the stunning cover) in the coming months. Until then, I'm going to try to stop thinking I'm going to get in trouble every time I say Take a Bow!