New York, NY — February 9, 2018
Grand Central Publishing (GCP) is excited to announce the acquisition of the much-anticipated second novel – IMAGINARY FRIEND – by acclaimed author, screenwriter, and director Stephen Chbosky. IMAGINARY FRIEND will be published in hardcover print, e-book and audio editions in the Fall of 2019. Ben Sevier, Senior Vice President and Publisher of GCP, and Wes Miller, Senior Editor at GCP, acquired North American rights from Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor, with Miller tapped to edit the book. Rights have also been sold to Orion in the UK and to Calmann-Levy in France. Further deals have been made in Germany, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Romania, Sweden, and the Netherlands with offers and auctions ongoing in Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
IMAGINARY FRIEND is a wildly ambitious, sweeping work of literary horror that focuses on Kate Reese, a single mother fleeing an abusive relationship by starting over in a new town, with her young son Christopher. Her world begins to unravel after Christopher vanishes into the Mission Street Woods – where fifty years earlier an eerily similar disappearance occurred. When her son emerges six days later unharmed but not unchanged, he brings with him a secret: a voice only he can hear and a warning of the tragedy to come to the real world if he fails to protect it. Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battle ground.
Of his new novel, Stephen Chbosky said, ““Do you remember when you were a little kid and you would look up into the clouds? Remember how the clouds would look like the shape of a dog or a tree or a face? Well, what if you were a little 7 year old kid now? With a single mom. And no money. And what if you couldn’t help but notice that for the last two weeks, you looked up into the clouds, and it was always THE SAME FACE staring back at you? That is the origin of my story.“
Sevier said, “I couldn’t be more delighted to have the chance to bring to market this epic work of imagination by one of our great storytellers, Stephen Chbosky. Everyone at Grand Central Publishing and Hachette Book Group is honored to be working with Stephen and thrilled to publish IMAGINARY FRIEND next year.”
Miller said of IMAGINARY FRIEND, “Chbosky’s novel astounded me on so many levels. It’s one of the most incredible feats of creative energy that I’ve ever encountered, and the fact that it just so happens to be written by Stephen Chbosky, a writer whose work I adore and to which I’ve returned every year since Stephen’s first novel was published, only adds to the appeal. I can’t wait to share this incredible experience with readers everywhere.”
Stephen Chbosky is the author of the multi-million copy bestselling debut The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In 2012, he wrote and directed the acclaimed film version of his novel, starring Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller. He also directed the 2017 film Wonder, a critical and commercial smash hit. IMAGINARY FRIEND is Chbosky’s long-awaited second novel, two decades in the making.
About Grand Central Publishing:
Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, reaches a diverse audience through hardcover, trade paperback and mass market books and e-books that cater to every kind of reader. Our imprints are Twelve, Grand Central Life & Style, Forever and Forever Yours.
About Hachette Book Group:
Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre (a Lagardère company), the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of eight publishing groups: Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Grand Central Publishing; Perseus Books; Orbit; Hachette Books; Hachette Nashville; and Hachette Audio.