Bloomsbury Children's is to publish Fablehouse, a new fantasy series by Emma Norry, following a six-figure pre-empt.
Zöe Griffiths, editorial director, pre-empted two books from Jasmine Richards of Storymix, acquiring world rights in all languages for print, e-book and audio.
The synopsis explains: "Fablehouse is a children’s home like no other. Housed in a crumbling mansion that perches on a cliff and backs on to ancient woodland, this is the home for many of Britain’s Brown Babies, children born to African American GIs and white, British women. Heather has already been through several children’s homes and foster families and is trying her hardest not to trust Fablehouse and its unusual head teacher. When kids start acting strangely, Heather discovers a plot from a fey realm to infiltrate and overthrow the human world. With the help of Palamedes – the Black Knight from King Arthur’s Round Table who has been guarding the ancient doorway to the fairy world – and three friends, Heather sets off on a quest to rescue the children who have been replaced by changelings. No child will be forgotten or discarded on her watch. Soon she finds herself drawn into a battle to save the first place that has felt like home for years."
Griffiths said: "I am thrilled to welcome Emma Norry to the Bloomsbury list and for us to work together on these fantastic novels conceived by the ever brilliant Storymix. Jasmine and Emma are creatives at the height of their powers and Fablehouse will be a game changer for middle-grade fantasy. It opens doors to history and stories that were previously forgotten or ignored, combining an unforgettable lead character with a page-turning, heart-racing read of an adventure! It’s not often we find the exact alchemy needed to make a future classic and we are delighted to add our own unique sprinkle of magic to the mix."
The first book in the Fablehouse series will be published in April 2023 along with e-book and audio formats. Publication will be supported by an unmissable blockbuster marketing and publicity campaign. The sequel will follow a year later.
Norry is the author of Amber Undercover for OUP and Son of the Circus, part of Scholastic’s Voices series. Fablehouse draws on her personal experiences as a mixed-race child and teenager growing up in the care system in Cardiff.
She said: "Working with the always inventive and inspirational Bloomsbury Publishing, as well as the creative plot powerhouse of Storymix, is an absolute dream come true for me. From the first mention of this project – the setting and 1950s time period – I had a very special feeling. I knew these characters and their situations, both real and imaginary, mirrored and echoed many of my own experiences. I'm excited to share the beauty and magic of the Exmoor landscape, and to introduce our adventurous foursome – whose heart, passion and determination will take us on a voyage of discovery!"
Richards said: "Emma was always the right writer to tell this story but it felt like actual magic when she put pen to paper and breathed life into these characters. She's taken a good idea and elevated it to something truly unforgettable – a world that will enchant, uplift and thrill adults and children alike. Storymix’s motto is ‘We create heroes for every child and tell stories where every child can be the hero.’ Our goal has always been to create pathways for UK authors and illustrators of colour. Nurturing talent and working collaboratively to create inclusive stories for all children. Fablehouse is the absolute embodiment of this aspiration."
- S&S UK bags 'super commercial' middle-grade series in six-figure pre-empt
- HCG pre-empts Sagar's magical middle-grade fantasy in six-figure deal
- Walker pre-empts 'irresistible' middle-grade series in six-figure deal
- Oneworld in five-figure pre-empt for McGowan's middle-grade novel
- Storymix founder Richards to publish middle-grade title with UCLan