Debut Author Scores Six-Figure Deal for 'Dexter'-With-a-Dash-of-'Twilight' YA Novel 'Not Even Bones'

Rebecca Schaeffer has a scored a six-figure deal for her debut novel, Not Even Bones. Rights to the tale that is said to add paranormal elements to a Dexter-like story were acquired in a pre-emptive bid by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt with publication expected in fall 2018. The deal is for three books, with Bones expected to be the start of a new franchise.

The story follows a teenage girl who dissects the bodies her murderous mom brings home and helps her sell them on the black market. When her mother brings home a live specimen one day, she helps him escape but ends up on the black market herself, pursued for her supernatural ability to control bodily functions like clotting and muscle mass. The black market-goers believe eating pieces of her will transfer the power. She realizes the only way to save herself is to eliminate the black market, and the only way to do that is to become its kingpin.

Schaeffer was represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media. Editor Sarah Landis represented Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Schaefer was discovered when she participated in author Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars contest for new writers.

After a long Twilight-fueled run atop the YA charts, paranormal stories have ceded ground in recent years to more true-to-life tales in the John Green vein, but publishers are once again turning their attention to the durable genre.