Indie publisher Allison & Busby (A&B) has bagged a “wonderful” historical romance set on the Isle of Wight by debut author Heather Cooper.
Publishing director Susie Dunlop secured world English language rights for Stealing Roses from Sarah Such at Sarah Such Literary Agency. It will be published in hardback as A&B’s lead fiction title and will be backed by a strong local publicity campaign on the Isle of Wight.
The Victorian era novel centres on “free-spirited heroine Eveline Stanhope and her struggles against convention” when the railway comes to her seaside town.
Dunlop said: “When Sarah talked to me about this impressive author and her hugely accomplished debut, her enthusiasm was contagious. Our editorial and sales teams jumped at the chance to sign Heather and we are so looking forward to launching her book on the Isle of Wight in the spring.”
Cooper, who has worked for the National Trust and NHS, said she wanted to bring the island’s heritage to a wider audience and was inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. She added: “As a new writer, I am delighted that my first novel, Stealing Roses, is to be published by Allison & Busby. I am so enjoying working with Susie Dunlop and the rest of the great team, as well as with my literary agent, Sarah Such – it is a thrilling process. They have shown great enthusiasm for the story.”
Such said: “Eveline is an unforgettable and timeless heroine who one can’t help but love and root for. It’s very exciting that Allison & Busby will be publishing Stealing Roses on their impressive romantic fiction list, and that they have such great publication plans including a local launch on the Isle of Wight.”