On April 8, an exclusive through Variety reported that Stacey Lee’s 2019 YA Historical Fiction novel, The Downstairs Girl, was optioned as a half-hour television series with Bound Entertainment.
The Korean-based entertainment studio is collaborating with Lee on the project, where she will also be an executive producer. Aminta Goyel, Daytime Emmy and WGA-award winning writer, is adapting the novel.
“I’m excited for Miss Sweetie to step into the homes of modern viewers, who might not have imagined a heroine like this could exist in 1890 Atlanta,” mentioned Lee.
Samuel Ha, founder of Bound Entertainment alongside international feature development vet Jamie Lai, will serve as executive producers.
As a Korean-American growing up in the South Ha stated he’s always wanted to “tell stories that included people who look like me in our history, set in the area I grew up…Stacey has been a leader in seeing the possibility of the characters in our history we may have overlooked, and we’re excited to have Aminta work with us in bringing this delightful and authentic YA story to screen.”
Lee’s novel follows Chinese-American Jo Kuan, a lady’s maid and secret journalist, who moonlights as a newspaper advice columnist in 1890’s Atlanta.
Bound Entertainment is focused on sharing stories from and about the Asian diaspora, based in Seoul and Los Angeles.
As of April 7, Lee became a NYT Bestselling author for the paperback version of The Downstairs Girl.
By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.
While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee is out now!