FilAm author Melissa de la Cruz inks deal with Disney


Melissa de la Cruz | Photo Wikipedia

NEW YORK – Filipino American Melissa de la Cruz, a prolific writer and best-selling author has signed a deal with Disney Publishing Worldwide to launch a new studio to create and develop stories across multiple platforms of the Disney company. The collaboration will seek out new and acclaimed authors to create original content for a global audience.

The Hollywood Reporter reports the new deal expands on de la Cruz’s existing relationship with Disney. Disney is developing a 29 Dates movie, based on her book of the same title. 29 Dates is a romantic comedy about a Korean exchange student, which is scheduled to become a feature-length movie on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

In addition, according to Disney, it will be publishing new installments of de la Cruz’s vampire series Blue Bloods novel starting next year. Blue Bloods series has three million copies in print, among many other novels of hers. Her first series for adults launched with Witches of East. This best seller was followed by Serpent’s Kiss and Winds of Salem.

The Beauchamp Family, the first book in a series about a family of witches, Witches of the East End, was released in June 2011. Lifetime Television aired a two-season drama series in 2013 based on this book starring Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston and Mädchen Amick. It lasted two seasons before it was cancelled. De la Cruz’s young adult spin-off of the series, Summer on East End has also been optioned for television.

De la Cruz is the author of more than 50 books which includes Something in Between, a YA contemporary novel inspired by de la Cruz’s own immigrant experience coming from the Philippines, as well as Alex and Eliza, a historical novel about the romance between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

Among her many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens include the Au Pairs series, the Blue Blood series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh Off the Boat.

De la Cruz, who was born in Manila, migrated to the United States in 1985 with her family when she was 13. They settled in San Francisco and she studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart High School. She studied art history and English at Columbia University in New York City and after graduation, worked as a computer consultant.

At age 22, while working at Bankers Trust in New York, she wrote her first full-length novel but did not do well in the market. She also has published articles with the New York Press which had her first essay, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and Harper’s Magazine.

She also worked as a fashion writer where she found the inspiration for How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less which she co-authored with Karen Robinovitz. Her work as a nanny and her visits to The Hamptons formed the background for the book series The Au Pairs first published in 2015.

She is married to author Michael Johnson with whom she co-authored the Heart of Dread series, with the first novel Frozen, released in 2013. They live in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with their daughter.