Doyle's middle-grade debut to Bloomsbury after five-way auction

Doyle's middle-grade debut to Bloomsbury after five-way auction

Bloomsbury Children’s Books has signed a six-figure deal with Irish YA author Catherine Doyle for two books including her middle-grade debut following an auction between five publishers.

The Storm Keeper’s Island features ancient magic buried on an island off the west coast of County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland, inspired by the “daring sea rescues and adventures” of Doyle's grandfather.

In a global acquisition Ellen Holgate, UK editorial director, and Allison Moore, US editor, acquired world rights from Claire Wilson at Rogers Coleridge and White Literary Agency as part of a six-figure deal for two books after the partial manuscript resulted in an "hotly contested" five-publisher auction.

The Storm Keeper’s Island will publish in paperback and e-book in the UK and Australia in July 2018, with Bloomsbury US publishing in early 2019. Bill Bragg will be the cover artist. The second book will be a sequel which will be published in the UK in July 2019.

The story follows Fionn Boyle, sent away for the summer to stay with his grandfather on the remote island of Arranmore where he uncovers ancient magic "buried deep in the island’s layers and the adventure that follows sees Fionn facing his fears and embracing his destiny as the Storm Keeper’s heir”.

Doyle is best known for her YA Blood for Blood trilogy (Chicken House), inspired by Romeo & Juliet and mafia culture, based on the streets of Chicago.

Now based in Galway, she described her middle-grade debut as “very much the book of my heart”.

She said: “Having grown up listening to my grandfather’s stories of daring sea rescues and adventures on Arranmore Island, it’s wonderful to be able to write a magical island story that has been inspired by them.”

Holgate said: “The quality of the writing speaks for itself. It’s a classic, big-hearted children’s adventure story in a magical Irish setting, which made me laugh and cry.”

She added: “I think it will be around for many, many years to come.”