This makes me happy for so many reasons. I'm going to list some of them now.
1. I was lucky enough to read WAYWARD GIRLS in an early pass, and it really was special. Leila's voice is sharp and funny and her characters are sharp and funny and, most importantly, real. She doesn't just write about a bunch of girls blow-drying their hair and talking about boys with yummy butts. The girls in her books are quirky and smart and ambitious and insecure and just feel like real people you would know and be friends with.
2. Leila and I share an EXTREMELY talented agent (and friend!), Stephen Barbara, and so a triumph for her is, by extension, a triumph for him. And a triumph for me, too, because it just reaffirms how talented my friends are!
3. Leila is really nice and really cool and she likes to do things like have long lazy picnics that culminate in spontaneous dance parties, so if anyone deserves a book deal, it's her.
4. Okay, here's where it gets crazy: Leila, Stephen B, and I all attended the University of Chicago and graduated within a few years of each other. Stephen B just recently made another deal for a fellow U of C grad, so basically I feel like the U of C is slowly putting the smack down on the YA book industry (in a good way). College pride!
Anyway, just wanted to give the lady--and WAYWARD GIRLS--a shout-out. Keep your eye on this Miss Leila Sales...she is one to watch. And congrats, Leila!!