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Holly Green announces book deal for her debut YA novel

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Holly Green, who just sold her debut novel!  Holly Green author headshot against green leaves and tree backgroundIn the Same Boat is a YA novel about a teenager named Sadie who is determined to finish an epic canoe race one year after another race with her father went terribly wrong. But when her would-be rowing partner (her brother) drops out at the last minute, Sadie realizes she has no choice but to join forces with Cully, the boy who was once her best friend and is now her worst enemy.  Soon they’re stuck navigating rapids and facing alligators, snakes, and other dangers together.

“The inspiration for the book came way back in the summer of 2012,” Holly explains, “when I spent a few days following the Texas Water Safari, a 260-mile canoe race that runs from central Texas to the coast. I was absolutely hooked by the race and mesmerized by the stories I heard from racers. I knew there was a YA book in it, and I started to think, what if you had to do the race with someone you hated?”

The story has gone through a long process of evolution since that spark of inspiration eight years ago. “I spent a few years writing and rewriting the same 150 pages and getting stuck when it was time to actually start writing the race,” Holly recalls. “I realized that I needed to learn more about craft to be able to finish the story the way I wanted to, so I went to VCFA [Vermont College of Fine Arts] and got my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Almost all of those original 150 pages got thrown out because I realized that I needed to start the story in a different place and under different circumstances. I had resisted changing the beginning for a while, but it ended up being the best thing I could have done. All the world-building and character development I did in those first years made the foundation for the new draft, and I was able to write it start to finish in five months.”

The novel is set to be published by Scholastic in the summer of 2021. The deal was brokered by agent Michael Bourret.