Last week I received a bitter sweet press release from the lovely people at Random House. Bitter sweet because although it has some great news about Jonathan Stroud and his new book, we are still going to have to wait until September 2013 to read it.
THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS…
RHCP announce publication plans
and a film deal for Lockwood & Co.
Thurs 25 October, 09:30: In a year’s time the first book in Jonathan’s Stroud’s new series, Lockwood & Co. will be published. RHCP is delighted to announce a Hollywood movie deal and major promotional plans for the book.
Emily Hayward Whitlock of Knight Hall Agency Ltd is delighted to have signed off a major seven-figure deal with Illumination Entertainment for Jonathan Stroud’s new series Lockwood and Co on behalf of the Laura Cecil Literary Agency. Illumination Entertainment are planning to make this their first live action film having recently made films such as Despicable Me and Dr Seuss’ The Lorax. They are backed by Universal Studios.
Variety magazine has broken the movie news today:
Digital and Marketing Campaign
On top of this exciting movie news, RHCP is firming up the global, interactive and ambitious marketing campaign planned for September 2013 to launch Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase. RHCP is liaising with Stroud’s international publishers, including Hyperion in the US and Bertelsmann in Germany, to share ideas and content, with a view to building a worldwide community of Lockwood fans.
“We’re going to pull out all the stops on this one,” says RHCP MD, Philippa Dickinson. “We’re really thinking creatively and innovatively about how we can make Lockwood stand out from the crowd to make it the must-read book next autumn.”
The launch of The Screaming Staircase will be supported by a piece of interactive online storytelling, in which readers are invited – as honorary investigators for Lockwood & Co – to seek out ghosts and discover the grisly tales behind each haunting. There will be many ways to get involved, including armchair sleuthing, creative writing, and even a location-based smartphone app for the truly intrepid.
Philippa Dickinson expands: “We’re currently laying the groundwork for an immersive experience based in the rich and spooky new world Jonathan has created; and we hope to bring his devoted Bartimaeus fan-base together with a legion of new readers in order to explore it.”
As well as reaching in to the virtual world, an ambitious traditional publicity campaign is planned. Jonathan will be touring the globe for three months over the autumn doing a range of high-profile events, signings and media junkets. Pre-publication buzz activity will include an appearance at BEA in America, augmented reality book proofs, wide-scale sampling to reading groups, and digital activity designed to create chatter, such as jacket reveals, twinterviews and virtual events.
Lockwood & Co. : The Story Begins
Lockwood & Co. is Stroud’s first series since his bestselling Bartimaeus sequence, which has sold over 6 million copies worldwide and is available in 36 languages. The first title, The Screaming Staircase, will be published in the UK on 2nd September 2013 and introduces readers to the charismatic Anthony Lockwood, his sidekick George and their new young employee, Lucy. London has never been spookier, and Lockwood & Co, a small, ramshackle psychic detection agency, is up against murderous spectres, terrifying apparitions and dastardly rivals.
Stroud’s invention, energy and stylish wit make this superb new series something to be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Fans of Bartimaeus will be overjoyed to see Stroud is returning to London as the setting for his new story, but this time it’s a much darker city. An epidemic of ghosts – known as The Problem – is causing chaos and Lockwood and his colleagues must seek a solution. Stroud’s readers will welcome a new cast of characters and his characteristic masterly blend of humour, suspense and adventure.