We have news. BIG NEWS! We’ve been waiting (im)patiently to share this announcement with our fans and it’s finally here! All hail the Queen…..

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The Queen of Hearts series written by award-winning author Colleen Oakes and published by SparkPress (our BookSparks imprint) has been optioned by Universal Pictures! Grant Pierce Myers, the writer who adapted The Maze Runner, is set to develop Colleen’s trilogy into one mega movie script. Check out the details in this Deadline story that just broke.

Yes!! The Alice in Wonderland-inspired book we all fell head over heals for last year, published by SparkPress and then acquired by HarperCollins to be published around the world (another big announcement we shared with you earlier this year!) is on its way to the big screen!

Check out the new cover for Queen of Hearts by HarperCollins!

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So, please join us in bestowing a great big CONGRATULATIONS to author Colleen Oakes, who wrote this award-winning, unbelievable YA trilogy and who we are so proud of, and so proud to work with!

You were the very first Colleen Oakes fans and you’re a huge part of this journey! So thank you!

To celebrate this amazing announcement, we’ve got an exclusive interview with Colleen Oakes and our publishing/PR team to talk about this royal journey and big news.

Again, congratulations Colleen, you truly are the Queen!

Where were you when you got the news that Universal wanted to option the Queen of Hearts series?

Colleen: It sounds so glamorous, but I was in my kitchen, feeding my one year old. I had an applesauce in one hand and the phone in the other. I was jumping up and down and screaming and my son was looking at me with total nonplussed amusement and really just wanting me to continue with the applesauce. I feel like that moment sums up my entire life as an author.
Crystal: I was walking across our office courtyard on a beautiful morning when the agent called. My first thought was: I cannot wait to call Colleen!

Who’s the first person you told?

Colleen: First, my toddler, who did not care in the least. Next I told my husband. He was understandably more excited and waited about two minutes before asking “Do you think they can get me a part in the new Star Wars movie?”

Crystal: I went right into the office, jumping up and down, and told the team. Colleen has an entire Cheer squad over here and we literally screamed. Then, of course, I called her and said “Are you sitting down?”.

Who do you hope to see cast?

Colleen: While I have total faith in the casting directors that make the movies I love to watch, I have a small hope in my heart for Mae Whitman as Dinah, Edward Norton as Cheshire and Kevin Costner as The Spade.

Queen has had an incredible journey, what are the three biggest highlights?

Colleen: Probably seeing Queen of Hearts on the shelves at Tattered Cover – that’s a dream for every Denver native, signing Queen of Hearts with HarperCollins, and interacting with readers who loved the fierce character that Dinah is.

Crystal: I think the reception of Queen of Hearts in the industry when we first published it. Kirkus raved about it, calling it one of the best Indie books of the year and one of the most cinematic. As a new publisher, having that industry recognition was important. I also remember calling Colleen to talk with her about HarperCollins being interested in taking the series to the next level. And just getting to see an amazing woman, mother, talented author who is just such a genuinely beautiful human being get rewarded for writing an incredible book series – that by far is the best part of all of this. The fact that we were a tiny part of making this dream come true is something I will always carry with me. But most of all, she just simply deserves it.

You have a new book out with SparkPress, Wendy Darling, what can fans expect from this title? How is it similar to and different from Queen of Hearts?

Colleen: Fans can expect a very different character than Queen – Wendy Darling is a sweet girl raised in high society in the early 1900’s. Where Dinah was fierce, Wendy is polite. Queen was a book about rage, and Wendy is a book about bravery. They can, however, expect the same level of adventure, plot twists and a shocking character arc. Just wait until they meet Peter. Mmm-hmmm, he’s going to knock their socks off.

Meg (Colleen’s BookSparks publicist): It was an incredible experience to watch Queen of Hearts receive some amazing press and become a fan favorite for so many readers. Now being a part of Wendy Darling’s journey, I can see the same momentum and it’s only the first book in the series! Colleen’s imagination is indescribable and it’s absolutely amazing to be a part of another one of her twisted fairytales and seeing places like MTV News, USA Today, PopSugar, and more rave about it is exciting. And, of course, everyone is eagerly awaiting the new version of Queen of Hearts kicking off next summer from HarperCollins so Wendy Darling is a great read to tie over Colleen’s many fans.

Why are you excited to see Queen of Hearts on the big screen?  

Colleen: I’m excited for a number of reasons; because every writer sees their book like a movie in their head, because I feel like Hollywood is getting great at YA book adaptations, because hooray for a reason to wear an actual gown, but mostly because I think Dinah’s character has a lot of relevance in this day and age; a powerful female who rises out of her own spoiled nature to become, well a villain, albeit a misunderstood one. Tom Hiddleston said “Every villain is a hero in his own mind.” I want to read that story, and this time, we might just get to watch it as well.

Crystal: I’m excited and hopeful that this movie gets made because I remember telling Colleen many times along the way – and writing and publishing is such a challenging journey – that this is just the beginning. She’s an incredible talent. Her imagination and stories are unique and spectacularly wicked. She’s written an amazing series here and it’s been a lot of hard work and I truly hope that this dream can come true because she deserves the fairytale.

Holding the original version of Volume One, you’ll always be our Queen

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Want a chance to win a giveaway fit for a Queen? Head on over to our Instagram to win: @BookSparks

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