Usborne has acquired Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt, a novel about a teenager's aspirations to work in theatre behind the scenes, and the real backstage drama that ensues when those dreams are realised.
Rebecca Hill, fiction director at Usborne, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Theatrical and one other title from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens Ltd.
Theatrical, to be a 2018 paperback original, follows 17-year-old Hope Parker who has always dreamed about a career in the theatre - not on the stage, but behind it as part of the crew. So when the opportunity to be part of the stage management team on a production at her local theatre comes up, she jumps at it. But confronted with a badly-behaved Hollywood star as their lead, a director who can't get along with anyone, fans camped out at the stage door and an usher she can't get out of her head, it looks like this time the real drama will be happening backstage.
According to Usborne, it plans to build the author as "the British answer to" American authors Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins. Hill said of Harcourt's writing it was "quite simply addicitive". She added, "Brimming with humour and heart, her novels brilliantly portray the realities of falling in love for the first time. Usborne adored everything about Maggie's new proposal and we are thrilled to build on the excitement for Unconventional with two more books for 2018 and beyond.”
Harcourt’s first novel, The Last Summer of Us, was published by Usborne in 2015, and this year sees publication of her first contemporary YA romance, Unconventional, also with Usborne.