Bloomsbury has pre-empted Dublin-based screenwriter Senta Rich’s debut novel Hotel 21 in a two-book deal.
Publishing in spring 2023, the novel follows Noelle, an efficient and friendly hotel cleaner, who also happens to be a kleptomaniac.
"When she arrives on the first day of work at her 21st hotel, she’s prepared to start her tried and tested routine: impress the staff, steal from the customers, leave for the next job before anyone suspects her," the synopsis explains. "But her new colleagues at the Magnolia hotel are warm, kind, complicated women, and for the first time in her life she quickly forms genuine connections with them. Will these friendships give her the courage to claim the life she deserves, or will her old habits come back to haunt her?"
Publishing director Emma Herdman acquired world and audio rights from Marianne Gunn O’Connor at the Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary Film/TV Agency.
Herdman said of the novel: "Hotel 21 has the stellar mixture of page-turning plot, beautifully crafted sentences, and vivid characters you feel that you know in real life. Genuinely warm books are such a joy, and Noelle and her colleagues lifted my spirits. I wanted to share their story with my colleagues as soon as I’d turned the last page, and we are all so excited to be trusted to bring Senta’s work to readers."
Rich began her career as an advertising copywriter. During this time she also wrote radio plays and articles for magazines and moved into the world of film and TV. She currently writes for TV shows in Ireland and UK including drama and animation. Her work has featured on the BBC, Cbeebies, Amazon Prime and other international and European networks. She also has a feature film in development.
She said: "Hotel 21 is about resilience, survival and our need to belong. Set behind the scenes of the hotel industry where cleaners are seen but not heard, it follows the story of a young kleptomaniac hotel cleaner whose structured life gets thrown into disarray when she starts a new cleaning job.
"I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Emma and the team at Bloomsbury UK. Their enthusiasm for the book and wonderful insights have been amazing. I’m also grateful to my agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor, not just for her overwhelming support of the book, but for her incredible insights too."
Gunn O’Connor added: "When I read Hotel 21 I was completely smitten. Senta Rich takes us into a world we never normally see and into the heart of a woman as unforgettable as Keiko, the Convenience Store Woman. Emma Herdman's passion and vision for the book just blew us away. Senta Rich is a talent to watch and I know she’ll thrive in Emma’s hands and with the wonderful team at Bloomsbury. We are truly excited!"