Janet Gurtler's JUST BREATHE, in which a girl struggles with boy problems and serious regret after accidentally killing a boy she barely knows when she kisses him after consuming a peanut butter sandwich, not aware he has a deathly allergy to peanuts, to Leah Hultenschmidt at Sourcebooks Fire, by Jill Corcoran at The Herman Agency.
I'm really excited about this book and Leah, the YA/Romance editor over at Sourcebooks is a dream to work with. Seriously. When I was unpublished and imagined working with an editor someday, she is the person I would have conjured up.
This is the first book I've sold that isn't actually finished yet (it was bought on a partial and synopsis) so it will be a little different going in. I love the story though and think it will give me lots of room to go deep and explore character emotions and complexities as I so love to do. (And hope I accomplish sometimes!)
The title will be changing for sure as Just Breathe isn't quite the perfect one, but since I was calling it the Peanut Butter book when I started working on it, Just Breathe is definitely an improvement.
I've never made it a secret that my son has a serious peanut allergy and some people look at me like there's a screw floating around in my brain when I tell them the premise, but I think it's a great story and I've talked to my son about why I'm writing it with a death and he gets it. I know that almost every single person knows someone with a peanut allergy, especially in today's world.
Peanut allergies, like many deathly allergies, are serious stuff and scary for parents and families to live with sometimes. There are accidents. I'm going to have to take my imagination to some dark places while writing this book, but I think it will be worth it.
Wish me luck as I work on it over the next few months. I hope it's as good a story as I want it to be!!