TV rights of C J Skuse’s thriller Sweetpea have been sold to the producers of the Emmy-award winning series "Top of the Lake" and recently Oscar-nominated film "Lion".
The deal was brokered between Hakan Kousetta at See-Saw Films and Emily Hayward Whitlock at the Artists Partnership in association with Jenny Savill at Andrew Nurnberg Associates International Ltd. Sweetpea will be published by HarperCollins imprint HQ next month as the first in a new series.
It chronicles a year in the life of an “ambitious but bored young woman” in a small British town. Her day- ob is an editorial assistant but after hours she turns to “altogether darker, grislier pursuits”. The novel is billed as "American Psycho meets 'Fleabag'".
Patrick Walters, development executive for See-Saw Films which operates out of London and Sydney, said: “When we first read Sweetpea we were blown away. C.J. Skuse has crafted a hero who is both admirable and fearsome, moral yet conflicted, loving but full of anger. Not only is the novel laugh-out-loud funny and propulsive in its thrills and spills, it struck us as that rarer thing still, a powerful meditation on love and hate, and what happens when you have too much of both. It will be truly unmissable television.”
Skuse said: “Since I started my writing journey 20 years ago this very year, I had a crazy dream in my head that one day someone might want to put one of my books on screen. To say that I'm happy See-Saw Films are making my crazy dream come true is an understatement. I'm truly overjoyed to be working with them on Sweetpea and I know they'll look after her well. I can't wait to see Rhiannon brought to life.”
HQ announced plans to publish Sweetpea last July and described it as Bridget Jones’s Diary meets "Dexter".
Skuse is the author of the three novels published by Chicken House: Pretty Bad Things, Rockoholic, and Dead Romantic as well as two published by Harlequin’s teen and YA imprint MIRA Ink: Monster and The Deviants.