Vanessa Flores has sold her debut middle-grade graphic novel Moriviví, to Nancy Mercado at Dial for a six-figure deal.
Publisher's Weekly reports that Moriviví will follow 12-year-old Ángel as he navigates the aftermath of a hurricane that isolates him and his neighbours from the rest of Puerto Rico while struggling to manage his relationship with his Abuela and the spirits that surround them.
On Twitter, Vanessa Flores states "This story is so DEAR to me. The idea began while bored and daydreaming during a production meeting in my marketing design job at the beginning of 2018 and grew through sketches. A story idea was born and evolved over the next couple of years. I left that marketing job in August 2019, and in January of this year, I finished a sample page of this dream project for my agent Christy. After months of concept art, writing and refining, I AM GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR. I can't wait for you to meet Ángel Ortiz, Abuela Alba, el Vejigante and the rest of these characters and their story set in the heart of the mountains of Puerto Rico. It's part Spirited Away, part Up and wholly Boricua. GOD IS SO GOOD— if you know me (and if you ever get to know me, I'll tell you), this has been part of a bigger spiritual, emotional and mental health journey."
Vanessa Flores is an author and illustrator who grew up in New York in a Domini-Rican family and finished her high school studies in Puerto Rico. After moving to Florida, Vanessa studied at Seminole Community College and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BFA in Art, specializing in graphic design. She worked for several years as a graphic artist at Scholastic Book Fairs, designing and illustrating characters and backgrounds for several Book Fair themes. She finally left to pursue a career in children's book illustration and is the illustrator on Eat Bigs: Project Startup (Penguin Workshop, February 2021) and a contributing artist for In The Spirit Of A Dream (Orchard, October 2021). She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and an Orlando Giant Illustrator.
Dial is an imprint owned by Penguin Books USA (but then again, isn't everyone these days?) and which publishes books for children young and old. Bleeding Cool recently highlighted Fernanda Frick's new graphic novel from Dial, formerly a greenlit-then-rejected Netflix cartoon, Raise The Bar as well as Fouad Mezher's new YA graphic novel, Suraya.
Moriviví will be published in the summer of 2023. Vanessa Flores' agent, Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency handled the deal for world rights.