Avon has signed a three-book deal with Simon McCleave, whose previous books have been self-published.
Helen Huthwaite, publishing director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Millie Hoskins at United Agents. Foreign language rights are with United Agents. It is McCleave's first deal with a publishing house having previously self-published on Amazon. The first book is slated for publication in May 2022.
The new series is set on the Welsh island of Anglesey and features former DI, Laura Hart, an experienced hostage and crisis negotiator who gave up her successful career in the police following a personal tragedy. In the first book in the series, she finds that the quiet life she sought after moving to Anglesey is hard to find as a drugs gang take passengers onboard a sightseeing cruise hostage, including Laura’s own son.
Huthwaite said: "I couldn’t be more delighted to tie up this deal with Simon. We have long admired his incredibly successful self-publishing, and it is a huge privilege to welcome such a talented author to the list. He mixes the perfect amount of tension and suspense with memorable characters and equally memorable settings, all of which he paints in vivid detail. With legions of fans already hooked on his fantastic books, we know that the time is right to launch a new Welsh series from him and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of readers everywhere."
McCleave said: "I'm so excited to be working with the Avon team. Their vision for my new Anglesey crime series is brilliant and I knew from the very beginning that my work was in good hands. I can't wait for my readers to let me know what they think."