Bidding war over McCutcheon

<p>Actress Martine McCutcheon is turning her hand to fiction with her debut novel <em>The Mistress,</em> the first in a trilogy about strong women. McCutcheon&#39;s agent Jaine Bent has approached three publishers, who are all currently bidding for the title.</p><p>Mark Booth, publishing director at Century, confirmed he had put in an offer for the title, adding &quot;Martine writes like an angel&quot;. Brent, who would not reveal the other two publishers in the running, said she was leaning towards Random House, because it is already publishing <em>Sweetie</em>, the first fiction title by McCutcheon&#39;s mother Jenny Tomlin, in July. But she added: &quot;We are in a really comfortable position and in no rush, as we already have ITV who want to develop the first book for a series. Martine is co-writing the screen-play with the ITV writers.&quot;</p><p><em>The Mistress</em>, which will be followed by second title <em>The Actress,</em> is a tale about &quot;the other woman&quot; and will celebrate everything to do with London life. Unlike Katie Price and Kerry Katona, who used ghost-writers to follow up their autobiographies with works of fiction, McCutcheon will &quot;definitely be writing the books herself,&quot; insisted Brent. &quot;She has written her own albums and written for plays, so she is actually a writer at heart.&quot;</p><p>Whether McCutcheon will emulate the staggering success of Price is another matter. Price has sold almost 250,000 copies of her debut novel <em>Angel</em> (Arrow) since publication in the summer of 2006, and almost 270,000 copies of all editions of her follow-up novel <em>Crystal</em> (Century/Arrow) since publication in June 2007. Kerry Katona&#39;s novel <em>Tough Love</em> (Ebury) has sold just over 28,000 copies of the paperback published in October last year.<br /></p>