The Sophie Hicks Agency has Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovani Rigano, an original adult graphic novel about two brothers who undertake an epic journey through North Africa and across the Mediterranean in search of a better life. Monsters by Emerald Fennell, with Hot Key in the UK, is a comic novel about two role-playing children. Richard Gizbert’s Undeclared: The Global War on Information and How it Affects What You Think You Know examines the information war being waged by governments, media outlets and groups such as WikiLeaks. The Half Life of Joshua Jones by Danny Scheinmann is a genre-bending psychological thriller, with Unbound in the UK. Alexandra Gordon Smith’s The Devil’s Engine: Hellraisers, sold to Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US, is the first in a horror trilogy.
Eve White Literary Agent has The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt, about a woman whose baby is snatched after the family moves to Africa. It has sold to Penguin in the UK, with rights also sold in Germany. The Mother by Yvvette Edwards follows a mother whose son is stabbed to death, and the ensuing murder trial—it is with Mantle in the UK. Daisy Johnson’s Fen, with Jonathan Cape in the UK, is a collection of linked stories exploring the landscape and legends of the Fenlands.
Curtis Brown Literary Agency has the as-yet-untitled sequel to Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, sold to Macmillan in the UK. A Little Learning (or The Butcher’s Hook) by Jo Winter is a début set in 18th-century London, when the daughter of a wealthy merchant falls in love with a butcher’s apprentice. Karen Onojaife’s Borrowed Light is a literary début which asks what happens when the only person who can save the world has nothing left to live for. The Turning Point by Freya North (with HarperCollins in the UK) follows a Canadian author and a British children’s author who meet by chance—but fate has a tragic twist in store. Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington is about a woman who can’t remember why she is in a coma, and her sister.
Hardman & Swainson has Ann Morgan’s début literary thriller Beside Myself, about identical twins who swap places aged six (with Bloomsbury UK and Bloomsbury USA). The Followers by Rebecca Wait is about an isolated cult and its effect on two young people who find themselves in its grip (with Picador in the UK and Commonwealth). Kirsty Greenwood’s The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is about a woman who teams up with her grandmother (Pan Macmillan has world English rights, and Goldmann holds rights in Germany). All I Know Now is a guide to navigating teenage life by vlogger Carrie Hope Fletcher (UK and Commonwealth rights with Sphere). Catherine Simpson’s début Truestory is a blackly comic novel. World English rights have sold to Sandstone Press.
Peters, Fraser & Dunlop take Sandwich Woman by Allison Pearson, the new Kate Reddy novel, which has sold in pre-empts to HarperCollins in the UK, St Martin’s Press in the US and Cherche Midi in France. The Exclusive is the chilling début of Faber Academy alumna Rebecca Thornton (Bonnier has pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights). Allen Lane has UK and Commonwealth rights for The Future of Work by scholar Robert Skidelsky. Orwell Prize-longlisted author Jamie Bartlett’s new book, Radicals, is with Heinemann in the UK and Commonwealth. Ghost Flight is the first in a fiction series by Bear Grylls, with Orion in the UK.
Rogers, Coleridge & White has Laure Eve’s YA novel The Graces, about an outsider who befriends glamorous siblings. Nicole Krauss’ Late Wonder (sold to HarperCollins in the US) is a novel about transformation. Orion has Ian Rankin’s latest Rebus novel, Even Dogs in the Wild, in the UK. Actress Meera Syal’s The House of Hidden Mothers is with Doubleday in the UK. Lawyer Philippe Sands’ The Great Crimes is a memoir woven with the story of two lawyers who discover the man they are prosecuting, Hitler’s personal lawyer, was responsible for murdering their families.
United Agents takes Paul Murray’s The Mark and the Void, a comic novel about the financial crisis (with Hamish Hamilton in the UK). The Past by Tessa Hadley (with Jonathan Cape in the UK) is about four siblings. Mick Jackson’s Yukichan in Brontë Country, with Faber in the UK, is about young Japanese girl’s search for her lost mother. Jane Rogers’ Conrad and Eleanor is about a marriage in crisis (Atlantic Books will publish in the UK). Robert Lautner’s By Their Own Motion, with Borough Press in the UK, is set in Germany in 1944. Helen Dunmore’s spy thriller Exposure is with Hutchinson in the UK.
Jo Unwin Agency brings screenwriter Jesse Armstrong’s début novel, Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals (with Cape in the UK). Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, with Sphere in the UK, is the new novel by Jenny Colgan; Orbit has Resistance is Futile, Colgan’s science-fiction novel under the pen-name Jenny T Colgan. Cathy Rentzenbrink’s memoir The Last Act of Love is with Picador in the UK. Kit de Waal’s My Name is Leon is about brothers separated by adoption; rights have been sold to Viking in the UK following a six-way auction.
Janklow & Nesbit has professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s research into brain development in The Almond and the Seahorse (German rights have been pre-empted by Fischer). Rebecca Stott’s family memoir The Iron Room, about being raised in a Christian cult, is with Bloomsbury in the UK. Xiaolu Guo tells the story of her Chinese childhood, rebellious youth and journey to the West in Staring in Both Directions. Stand-up comedian Nat Luurtsema’s début children’s novel, Goldfish, has sold to Walker Books in the UK. What the Mountains Know is a dark début by Helen Cooper, set on the west coast of Scotland, which asks how far one is willing to manipulate the truth to protect one’s family?
Capel & Land brings two books from Simon Sebag Montefiore: fiction in the shape of The Ride, a love story set during siege of Stalingrad, (with Century); and non-fiction history title The Romanovs, with Weidenfeld & Nicolson. More fiction comes from Lesley Thomson with The Detective’s Secret, the third in a series (sold to Head of Zeus). Fourth Estate has Christopher Potter’s The Earth Gazers, a non-fiction title following the men who have seen the earth from space, and Allen Lane has Andrew Roberts’ “definitive modern biography” of Winston Churchill.
The Wylie Agency takes non-fiction with Graeme Wood’s The War of the End of Times: What the Islamic State Wants, which has been picked up by Random House US. On submission is Julia Leigh’s Avalanche, about the pains of IVF, while Niall Ferguson’s Kissinger, a two-volume biography of the politician, is with Allen Lane in the UK and Penguin Press in the US. In fiction, Colum McCann’s short-story collection Thirteen Ways of Looking has gone to Bloomsbury in the UK, while the late Nobel laureate José Saramago’s Alabardas, Alabardas, Espingardas, Espingardas has been sold in a number of international deals.
Johnson & Alcock has Rod Duncan’s fantasy title Unseemly Science, the second in a series, which has gone to Angry Robot. Dark literary novel Tokyo by Nicholas Hogg is with Cargo, while Transworld has taken Laura Madeleine’s foodie romance The Confectioner’s Tale. Julia Buckley’s non-fiction Heal Me is a memoir of life with chronic pain (sold to W&N at auction). Karl Dönitz and the Last Days of the Third Reich, by Barry Tuner is with Icon. Chris Russell’s YA début, Songs about a Girl, has sold to Hodder Children’s.
Diane Banks Associates takes feline tales in the shape of A Cat Called Alfie by Rachel Wells, a sequel to her bestseller Alfie the Doorstep Cat (with Avon in the UK), and Molly and the Cat Café by Melissa Daley, sold to Macmillan. Michael Joseph has picked up Kate Riordan’s atmospheric second novel The House of Secrets. In non-fiction, Constable has Richard Crisp’s evolutionary study The Social Brain, while Melanie Windridge’s exploration of the Aurora, Seeing the Light, is on submission.
Watson Little brings fiction in the shape of Emma Garman’s murder mystery The Fantastic Legacy of August Ezekiel, currently on submission, as is Greg Harley’s spiritual thriller The Final Peace. Sphere has Alex Marwood’s psychological suspense Sleeping Beauties, while Legend Press has Jemma Wayne’s Chains of Sand, which is about the Israel-Palestine conflict. On submission is Rebecca Rideal’s 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire, an account of the turbulent year.
David Higham Associates has Eve Chase’s Black Rabbit Hall, a gothic début with two timelines which is set to be a lead title from Michael Joseph this summer. Ebury has We are all Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman, set entirely at night-time, while J Jefferson Farjeon’s Mystery in White, a 1937-set whodunnit, has been bought by British Library Press. In non-fiction, John Rapley’s The Money Cult reappraises the science of economics (with Simon & Schuster in the UK), and Little, Brown has picked up Viva La Revolucion, a series of writings on Latin America by Eric Hobsbawn, edited by Leslie Bethell.
The Viney Agency has débuts with Tom Pugh’s Renaissance-set adventure The Devil’s Library, along with Zelda Benedetti’s The Arnolfini Marriage, which intertwines a love story with Jan van Eyck’s iconic, near-titular painting “The Arnolfini Portrait”. In non-fiction, Rosalind Miles’ The Women’s History of the Modern World has sold to Virago in the UK, while Fathali Moghaddam’s The Dictator’s Mind: The Assault on Democracy looks at the resurgence of totalitarian leaders. In children’s, Vashti Hardy’s The Seer is the first book in a fantasy trilogy about power and survival.
HHB Agency has cookery titles including: Turkish Delights by John Gregory-Smith, celebrating the best of Turkish food; Samarkand, Caroline Eden and Eleanor Smallwood’s attempt to put central Asia on the world food map (world rights for both are with Kyle Books); and Malaysian Cookery, in which Norman Musa provides a masterclass in home cuisine (world rights with Square Peg). Not Enough Time is a memoir by racehorse trainer Henrietta Knight, addressing her relationship with her jockey husband Terry Biddlecombe (Head of Zeus has world rights). Emma Burstall’s novel Tremarnock is about Liz, who finds sanctuary for herself and her young daughter in the titular Cornish town (Head of Zeus has world rights).