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Tor Teen Acquires YA Contemporary Fantasy Trilogy from Debut Black Author, Terry J. Benton in Mid-Six Figure Deal


Tor Teen, the publisher of A Song Below Water and The Witchlands series, has acquired, in a major deal, Blood Debts, a YA contemporary fantasy trilogy by Terry J. Benton, pitched as “Dynasty with magic” set to publish in Winter 2023.

The book follows two Black twins, sixteen year-old Clem and Cristina, who must put aside their differences and reunite their fractured family in order to take back the New Orleans magic council their family used to rule—all while solving a decades-old murder that sparked the rising tensions between the city’s magical and non-magical communities, before it leads to an all-out war.

Tor Teen Senior Editor Ali Fisher said, “Reading Blood Debts was like binge-watching my new favorite show. I gasped, I laughed, I completely fell in love. Benton is a powerhouse new voice in YA fantasy and the relationship between race, magic, and power is fresh and observant. I was on the edge of my seat to see who’d claim the throne!”

Benton’s agent, Patrice Caldwell, praises the hole the book fills in the market: “I can’t think of the last YA contemporary fantasy I’ve read written by a gay, Black man, centering a gay, Black boy. I can’t wait for this book to be out in the world!”

Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the three book deal for North American rights. Film/TV rights are represented by Pouya Shahbazian, and Foreign Rights are represented by Veronica Grijalva, both at New Leaf Literary & Media.

About the Author

Terry J. Benton lives in Atlanta, GA, and writes fiction for adults, young adults, and children, which also means he spends a lot of time holed up in coffee shops. He has an Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from GA State, and is a management consultant and entrepreneur whenever he can pull himself away from his books. 

About Tor Teen

Tor Teen, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to publishing quality science fiction, fantasy and contemporary fiction for young readers, including books by critically acclaimed and award winning authors such as Brandon Sanderson, Cory Doctorow, Susan Dennard, Kendare Blake, Mark Oshiro, Lauren Shippen, Bethany C. Morrow, TJ Klune, and more.

About Macmillan Publishers

Macmillan Publishers is a global trade book publishing company with prominent imprints around the world. Macmillan publishes a broad range of award-winning books for children and adults in all categories and formats. U.S. publishers include Celadon Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Flatiron Books, Henry Holt & Company, Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, St. Martin’s Publishing Group and Tor Books. In the UK, Australia, India, and South Africa, Macmillan publishes under the Pan Macmillan name. The German company, Holtzbrinck Deutsche Buchverlage, includes among its imprints S. Fischer, Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Rowohlt, and Droemer Knaur. Macmillan Publishers is a division of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, a large family-owned media company headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

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