Ballantine bags New Girl in six-figure pre-empt

Ballantine bags New Girl in six-figure pre-empt

World rights to the Times fashion editor Harriet Walker’s début novel were sold to US publisher Kate Miciak at Ballantine in a six-figure, two-book pre-empt.

Walker’s “incendiary” The New Girl, set in the world of high fashion, explores friendship, ambition and the insecurity that is sparked when a woman hires her maternity cover. The deal for the book and a second novel was struck with Laura Macdougall at United Agents in the middle of an auction for UK rights.

Kate Miciak, editorial director, v-p, of Ballantine/ Bantam Del, said she fell instantly for Walker's "masterful, suspenseful" debut, because it isn’t centered on unreliable narrators.

"These women tell the truth," she said. "Cannily plotted and deeply satisfying, this is a pitch-perfect tale which plumbs our deepest insecurities: will some paragon - some new girl - appear to destroy our illusions of happiness and security? And if she does, how hard will we fight back to destroy her? Ballantine is thrilled and proud to welcome this splendid new writer to our list--hers is an enthralling novel that hums with the voices of women...and those voices that taunt and undermine women."

Walker commented: "I’m thrilled to be working with the team at Random House. Kate has so much experience but also bags of enthusiasm, and I’m delighted that she saw something in my writing and my characters that inspired such a firm belief in what this book could be to the women who will read it."