Avon Books has acquired world all language rights (including dramatic) to The Family Tree and one other thriller by authors Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry.
The deal was agreed directly with senior commissioning editor Tilda McDonald after the authors participated in the #PitMad Twitter pitching contest, before submitting the unagented manuscript through Avon’s open submissions channel. The first title will be published in summer 2021, with HarperCollins Holland publishing simultaneously. A second true crime-inspired story will follow after six months.
The Family Tree will follow Liz Catalano, who takes a DNA ancestry test, only to discover she’s adopted. Just as Liz is getting to know her new family, the FBI contacts her to warn her that there’s a notorious serial killer lurking among them.
McDonald said: "From the moment Nicole and Steph pitched The Family Tree to me on Twitter, they had my attention – and their manuscript blew me away. Like the authors, I’m a true crime fan and I think anyone who devoured docuseries suhc as 'The Keepers' and 'The Staircase' is going to find their new addiction in Nicole and Steph’s nail-biting books. Avon are so proud to launch their career as a stellar crime writing duo."
Mullin and Mabry commented: "We are so thrilled that Tilda found us among the countless pitches during #PitMad and are excited to be joining the Avon family. When it comes to writing, we enjoy immersing ourselves in the investigative process, whether that’s interviewing FBI agents and scientific experts, or spending endless hours going down internet rabbit holes. We just can’t help deep diving into unsolved cases and imagining how they affect the average person. When we learned that Tilda shared our passion for true crime, we knew she was our kindred spirit and would be the perfect fit for The Family Tree. We look forward to a long, dark and twisty career with Avon."
Mullin and Mabry met as co-workers in New York in 2012, discovering a shared passion for writing and true crime, says the publisher. The Family Tree will be their first book together. Mabry is the author of Past This Point (Red Adept Publishing, 2019).