HarperCollins to Publish Dorothy Must Die, a Reimagined Wizard of Oz

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“The Wizard of Oz” Meets “Kill Bill” in a New Series Scheduled for April 2014

HarperCollins Publishers announced today that it has acquired North American rights to DOROTHY MUST DIE by debut novelist Danielle Paige. In this reimagined Oz, the Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and Dorothy has become its tyrannical ruler.

The three-book and three–digital novella deal was negotiated by Tara Weikum, Vice President, Editorial Director, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Eric Simonoff of William Morris Endeavor on behalf of Full Fathom Five, the creators of I AM NUMBER FOUR. The first digital novella, NO PLACE LIKE OZ, is scheduled for November 12, 2013, and the first novel in the series, DOROTHY MUST DIE, is scheduled for April 2014.

“The Wizard of Oz” meets “Kill Bill” in DOROTHY MUST DIE, an edgy, fast-paced fantasy-adventure take on a classic tale. A new cyclone has torn through Kansas and has transported Amy Gumm from her trailer-park life into Oz. But instead of the magical land she remembers from the books, Amy finds a place where Dorothy has taken over and wreaked havoc on the land. Amy may just be the only hope Oz has left. The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked gives her a mission: steal the Scarecrow’s brain, remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, and take the Lion’s courage. And ultimately—destroy Dorothy.

“As soon as I read the first page of DOROTHY MUST DIE, I knew I wanted to publish this fierce and compelling twist on the classic,” said Tara Weikum of HarperCollins. “This new series is perfect for readers who loved the original story and always wanted to know what happened to Dorothy next, as well as anyone looking for an edgy, high-concept read brimming with courage, wit, heart, and adventure.”

“Growing up, I read all of L. Frank Baum's Oz books too many times to count,” said author Danielle Paige. “Getting to revisit Oz and explore the darkness alongside the Technicolor is a thrill."

”There's nothing more exciting to me than taking a classic of the literary canon, a story so many people know and love, and subverting the audience's expectations of what it can be in a big, loud, contemporary way,” said James Frey, founder of Full Fathom Five. “If it also happens to bring a whole new audience to L. Frank Baum's classic series, even better.”

NO PLACE LIKE OZ (November 2013), the digital original novella that sets the stage for DOROTHY MUST DIE, chronicles the rise and fall of one of literature’s most beloved characters. Dorothy clicked her heels three times and returned home—but back in Kansas, she’s just another prairie girl. In Oz, she was a hero. She quickly realizes there really is no place like Oz but going back comes at a price, and the line between wicked and good has become so blurred that she’s not sure which side of it she’s on.

Danielle Paige is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. Before turning to young adult literature, she worked in the television industry where she received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. Dorothy Must Die is her first novel.

Full Fathom Five is an integrated media and production company founded in 2010 by James Frey. Its first two books both hit #1 on The New York Times Best Seller List. Since its formation, Full Fathom Five has created over forty books, television shows, films and videogames, including the hit Lorien Legacies series, whose first book, I Am Number Four, was produced as a major motion picture by Michael Bay and DreamWorks. In partnership with Booktrack, Full Fathom Five was the first company to release a book with a synchronized digital soundtrack; and in partnership with Glu Mobile, it was the first company to release a book and video game on the same day that were intricately linked and dependent on each other for a full reading/gaming experience. It currently has publishing deals with Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, film deals with DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Disney, and television deals with ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Nickelodeon, Sony TV, Universal Television, OWN and HBO. In its first three years, Full Fathom Five has sold millions of books around the world, has had a #1 film, a #1 DVD, and a #1 film download, and is considered one of the most forward-thinking creators of new original content across multiple platforms.

HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures—Charlotte’s Web, The Chronicles of Narnia, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, the Ramona series, Where the Wild Things Are; and popular new classics—The Graveyard Book, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the Warriors and Fancy Nancy books. Consistently at the forefront of digital innovation, HarperCollins Children’s Books delights young readers through engaging storytelling in all formats, including ebooks and apps. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, and a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NNC, NNCLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups around the world in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India. You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com and HarperCollins Publishers at http://www.harpercollins.com.

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Sandee Roston
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