HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, has acquired the debut novel by Alyson Rudd, a journalist at the Times.
The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is about a girl, born in the sixties, who is 13 years old the first time she dies. Each time Lauren dies, life goes on for the people who lose her – while Lauren’s continues in a parallel timeline.
Editor Clio Cornish, who acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights from Oli Munson at A M Heath Literary Agency in a two-book deal, said: “Alyson’s voice is truly unique, and The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is a wonder. Taking the universal experiences of loss, grief and new life, Alyson’s novel manages to be both utterly real and ingeniously high-concept, delivering real gut-punches of emotion along the way. I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I read it – and I’m delighted to be welcoming such a talented author to HQ.”
Rudd, who writes for the Times about sport and literature, added: “It is thrilling to be working alongside Clio Cornish and the team at HQ. The premise of my novel is that when anyone dies before their time they slip into the most similar parallel world and carry on living, while their loved ones grieve in the universe they left behind, and it has been a delight to see HQ embrace it with such enthusiasm.”
HQ will publish in hardback, e-book and audiobook in summer 2019.