The Hanbury Agency has the second in Anna Caltabiano’s début time-travel trilogy, The Time of the Clockmaker (with Gollancz in the UK and HarperCollins in the US), and gothic mystery The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel (Penguin in the UK). In non-fiction, there is Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics (Random House in the UK), Catherine Hickley’s The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler’s Dealer and His Secret Legacy (Thames & Hudson) and Luke Dormehl’s Thinking Machines, How Artificial Intelligence will Change Our World (Ebury).
Darley Anderson takes début women’s fiction in the shape of Phaedra Patrick’s The Curious Case of Arthur Pepper, which sees a widower journey to learn about his late wife (Harlequin in the UK), and Cesca Major’s wartime France-set The Silent Hours (Corvus). In Children’s and YA, it has Cathy Cassidy’s Alice in Wonderland retelling, Looking Glass Girl (Puffin; 10 other territories sold), Olivia Levez’s début survival tale Island Girl, and E S Macneal’s début murder thriller How to Disappear (both on submission).
Marjacq Scripts brings Second World War account Tank Action by David Render and Stuart Tootal, and Liverpool-set crime tome Bloodstream by Luca Veste (S&S in the UK). L A Larkin’s Devour is a thriller about bioweaponry, while Girl at Midnight is the first of a tetralogy by Polish author Katarzyna Bonda, about a mysterious cold case. Moon Dust is Gemma Fowler’s YA adventure, set on the moon.
Sheil Land has fiction from N S Fountain with Painkiller, a psychological thriller about a woman with chronic pain (Sphere in the UK). HarperVoyager has signed Mark Lawrence’s epic new fantasy trilogy, while the agency also has the conclusion of Steven Carroll’s Glenroy series, and The Cat Who Saw it All, a crime caper about a father, son and cat trio by débutant Sam Gasson. A memoir by the pioneer of medical detection dogs, Dr Claire Guest, is on submission.
Blake Friedmann takes literary début When We Were an Island by Lora Stimson (described as The Accidental meets I Capture the Castle) and Morph by Jill Clough, which follows at Joey, a character at odds with her body. The House on Cold Hill is a standalone ghost story by Peter James (Macmillan in the UK), while The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert has been pre-empted by Scribner in the US. Sheila O’Flanagan’s YA début The Crystal Run is with Hodder Children’s Books in the UK.
Mulcahy Associates has New York Times bestseller Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius, about a boy overcoming illness and abuse (S&S in the UK). The publisher also has Natasha Fennell and Róisín Ingle’s The Daughterhood, about nine sisters trying to help their mother, while Benet Brandreth’s début novel The Glover, about the early life of Shakespeare, is on submission. Imagine is a rock ‘n’ roll thriller by biographer Lesley-Ann Jones, while non-fiction The Angel and the Cad, about a Regency scandal, has been bought by Pan Macmillan.
Madeleine Milburn has The Widow by Fiona Barton, narrated by the wife of a man who is suspected of a terrible crime, along with a detective and a journalist. Rights have been auctioned in several territories. Addicted to Sin is dual-narrator romance by Monica James, and Dina Turner’s In the Shadow of Shatila is set during a massacre in Lebanon. The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling-Davies is a début YA title about a girl fated to live and die on a spaceship, while Eddy Stone and the Pirate in the Bath by Simon Cherry is a Middle Grade tale (Usborne in the UK).
Conville & Walsh has Everyone is Watching by Megan Bradbury, a literary love letter to New York and some of its famous inhabitants (Picador in the UK), and crime thriller Rattle by Fiona Cummins, under auction now. Bloomsbury has signed Ali Shaw’s The Trees (described as “Pan’s Labyrinth” meets Station Eleven) and Democracy by Alecos Papadatos and Abraham Kawa, a graphic novel about the birth of democracy, with several international rights sold. Profile has snapped up For F**k’s Sake: The Surprising Science of Our Dirtiest Words by Dr Emma Byrne.
David Godwin Associates has fiction with Hannah Kohler’s The Outside Lands (Picador in the UK and St Martin’s Press in the US), a poignant story following a brother and sister growing up. Corin Throsby’s When Mary Met Shelley, on submission, reimagines the Romantics on the West Coast of the US. Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Michael Collins’ The Death of All Things Seen, on submission, sees two men investigate the affair their parents had. Sarita Mandanna’s Good Hope Road, about American soldiers in the First World War, has been sold to Orion, while Random House has bought non-fiction title The Memory Illusion by Dr Julia Shaw.
A M Heath takes fiction with Harriet Edwards’ The Long Shadow, about two siblings who blame themselves for their mother’s death, already sold in Germany and Italy, and The American Girl by Kate Horsley, in which a student turns up bloodied and barefoot in a small French town. The Wolf Road, pitched as “Mad Max” meets “True Grit”, has gone to the Borough Press, while bidding is underway for John Keane’s non-fiction tome The New Depotisms: Imagining the End of Democracy.
Andrew Lownie has Conquerors: How Portugal Seized the Indian Ocean and Forged the First Global Empire by historian Roger Crowley (Faber in the UK, also sold in the US, Germany, Portugal, and China). Hitler’s Forgotten Children by Ingrid von Oelhafen with Tim Tate is a first-person account of the Nazi programme to create an Aryan master race (Elliott & Thompson; Penguin in the US). Junk: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome by Nessa Carey is with Icon, which has also bought Beyond the Call: The Incredible True Story of One American’s Life-or-Death Mission on the Eastern Front in World War II, about Captain Robert M Trimble. Ithica by Patrick Dillon is a historical novel based on Homer’s Odyssey; rights have been sold to Kleidarithmos in Greece.
Aitken Alexander has Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume, about a man and his dog. The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson Ellis, bought at auction by Mantle, is about a woman employed by the Office for Lost People. Beatlebone by Kevin Barry (Canongate in the UK, Doubleday in the US) is a novel about John Lennon’s journey to Ireland in 1978. The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam has been auctioned in the UK, the US, Germany, Holland, France and Italy; it follows a young man in Sri Lanka, 25 years after the army’s massacring of the country’s Tamil minority. The German War by Nicholas Stargardt is a historical narrative of how the Germans experienced the Second World War (Bodley Head).
LBA has Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria, about a daughter who discovers her father’s death was not as natural as her mother had led her to believe (Mira in the UK). I Do Not Sleep by Judy Finnigan, about a mother’s search for her son, sold to Little, Brown UK. Eva Holland’s The Daughter’s Secret follows a mother who is afraid her daughter will rekindle an affair with her teacher (Orion has world rights). Coming Up Roses by Rachael Lucas sees Daisy escape to her parents’ village after a break up (Macmillan in the UK). Last Days of the Fairy Queen by Jenny Mayhew is a Middle Grade novel about a girl who is the only person who can summon the magic needed to save her island home from occupation.
Ed Victor takes Alastair Campbell’s Winners (Random House in the UK) and Nigella Lawson’s Simply Nigella: Food to Nourish Body & Soul (Chatto & Windus; Flatiron in the US). John Banville’s The Blue Guitar (Penguin; Knopf in the US) is about a painter and petty thief. The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien (Faber) follows a war criminal who settles in a small Irish community. In non-fiction, They All Love Jack by Bruce Robinson (Fourth Estate) is a reinterpretation of the Jack the Ripper legend.
Lorella Belli has The Life of a Banana by P P Wong, a coming-of-age story about a British Chinese girl in London (Legend Press in the UK; also sold in Italy and South-east Asia). Thriller Silent Scream by début author Angela Marsons is the first in a four-book series; world English rights have sold to Bookouture, and rights sold in Germany for a six-figure pre-empt. Fighting to be Free by Kirsty Moseley, first published on Wattpad, begins a new romance series. Kelly Rimmer’s Me without You is a romance set in Australia (world English rights with Bookouture). A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson (Headline in the UK), which started as fan fiction, has sold in 13 territories.
Felicity Bryan Associates has Iain Pears’ Arcadia, the first novel specifically written for consumption via digital tablet devices, sold to Faber in the UK and Knopf in the US and Canada. Duck Zoo, Meg Rosoff’s first novel for adults, has been sold to Bloomsbury in the UK (rights have also sold in the US and Canada). Anna Schaffner’s The Truth About Julia (Allen & Unwin in the UK) follows an investigative journalist tasked with writing about a female terrorist. In non-fiction, Matt Ridley’s The Evolution of Everything looks at the bottom-up order and its enemy (Fourth Estate) and Edmund De Waal’s The White Road (Chatto & Windus) maps the story of porcelain.
Lutyens & Rubinstein has début crime novel Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie, who began writing when he lost his sight (Sphere in the UK). Neil Jordan’s The Drowned Detective is set in an unnamed European country, as a private detective tries to find a missing girl (world English rights with Bloomsbury). Lisa Owens’ début novel Not Working sold at auction in the UK, US and Germany. Adam Phillips’ Unforbidden Pleasures (Hamish Hamilton in the UK) explores the meanings and importance of the unforbidden. Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe is a YA novel; Bloomsbury holds world English rights.
Greene & Heaton has Christophe Galfard’s The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time and Beyond (Macmillan in the UK; rights sold in the US, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Greece and Korea). Rus Like Everyone Else, Bette Adriaanse’s début, is about an unemployed 25-year-old (US rights with Unnamed Press). Lucy Clarke’s The Blue follows a group of friends whose journey around the world on a yacht turns into a nightmare (HarperCollins in the UK; Touchstone in the US). Catherine Dunne’s No More Tears, about a mother’s love for her child, is with Pan Macmillan in the UK and Guanda in Italy. Ben McPherson’s domestic thriller A Line of Blood is with HarperCollins in the UK and has sold in the US, Italy and Holland.
Furniss Lawton has TV historian Neil Oliver’s fiction début Master of Shadows (Orion in the UK and Commonwealth), which is set in the days leading up to the Fall of Constantinople. Parrots is UK Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s second novel, about an enigmatic Italian brother and sister who strike a discordant note in the world of a calligrapher (Fig Tree in the UK and Commonwealth). Who Stole My Spear? by Tim Samuels is about being a man in the 21st century.