EXCLUSIVE: Red Sonja has been raising her sword in comic books since the 1970s, hit the big screen in 1985 (and will again), stopped by for a visit on the late-’90s syndicated TV series Conan and was animated in 2016’s Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues. Now, finally, she’s getting her own traditional longform book, and author-songwriter Amy S. Foster has signed to write it.
Whether the bikini armor survives the transition, well, not likely.
Foster has signed a deal with Red Sonja LLC to write the first traditional book featuring the sword-and-sorcery heroine. Foundry Literary + Media, the literary and media rights agency, is shopping the project to publishers.
Foster’s The Rift Coda — the finale to her The Rift Uprising Trilogy — will be released in October by HarperCollins Voyager.
The author was selected over dozens of writers to pen the Red Sonja novel. Her signing was announced exclusively to Deadline by Foundry Literary + Media, whose client roster includes Stan Lee, Ernest Cline (Ready Player One), Trevor Noah (The Daily Show), Patrick DeWitt (The Sisters Brothers), among others.
“I want to honor Robert E. Howard and Roy Thomas’ legacy,” said Foster, “while simultaneously using my perspective as a writer of strong female warriors to render Sonja as a three-dimensional woman who will be relatable to a new generation of male and female fans. I signed on because that is exactly what Luke Lieberman wants, too – for women to be able to see themselves in Sonja’s motivations in a way that they hadn’t before.
“And also,” she added, “because string bikinis were off the table.”
Said Lieberman, who has written more than 50 Red Sonja comics: “I wanted to set the book in Sonja’s early years, essentially unexplored territory that I will briefly explore in an upcoming graphic novel. After hearing The Rift Uprising series on Audible and speaking with Amy, I felt she just nailed the voice of a young Sonja. With her at the helm, this project will be awesome.”
Foster is repped by Yfat Reiss Gendell at Foundry Literary + Media. Red Sonja, LLC owns the Red Sonja character and licenses comic and art books, graphic novels, merchandise, with Lieberman stewarding the character.
In addition to writing novels — her first was 2009’s romantic fantasy When Autumn Leaves — Foster is a songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by Josh Groban, Diana Krall and Destiny’s Child. Her best-known collaboration, though, is with Michael Buble, whose co-written songs with Foster include the hits “Home,” “Everything” and “Just Haven’t Met You Yet.”
Foster’s father is the multiple-Grammy-winning record producer and songwriter David Foster, whose roster of collaborations includes recordings by Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera and many others.
The 1985 Red Sonja film introduced Brigitte Nielsen as the title character and co-starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Red Sonja comic books are published by Dynamite Entertainment.
Today’s news of Foster’s Red Sonja book deal comes just a day before she co-moderates, with Sam Maggs, tomorrow’s Comic-Con panel titled “Will You Go to the Dance With Me? How Homecoming Dances and Epic Parties Have Shaped Storytelling.” On Saturday, Foster will co-moderate, again with Maggs, “I Will Always Love You: A Panel Dedicated to Our OTPs,” exploring archetypal fictional pairings and how things have evolved through LGBTQ+ culture and third-wave feminism.
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