Francesca Best has acquired three "gritty" historical saga novels by a debut author as her first acquisition for Transworld.
Best bought world English rights at auction to A Shilling for a Wife and two further novels by Emma Hornby from agent Judith Murdoch from the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency, to publish from autumn 2016.
Hornby, a mother of three who lives in Bolton, has been described by Best as Transworld's "new (Catherine) Cookson". She has worked as a care assistant for the elderly and for a Blackpool rock factory and was inspired to write after researching her family history and discovering many generations "eked out life amidst the squalor and poverty of Lancashire's slums."
Best moved from Hodder & Stoughton to Transworld in August, to take up the position of senior commissioning editor for fiction.
She said: "I’m delighted to have signed up a talented young author with a very promising career in saga ahead of her. A Shilling for a Wife is a wonderfully twisty, absorbing tale which crackles with authentic Lancashire voices. Transworld was home to the late Dame Catherine Cookson’s publishing and I believe that in Emma Hornby we could have found our new Cookson."