Bluebird has won a five-way auction for a "gorgeous" guide to tarot for the modern reader by Unbound commissioning editor Fiona Lensvelt and advertising strategist Jennifer Cownie.
Hockley Raven Spare, commissioning editor, acquired world rights from Jo Unwin at the Jo Unwin Literary Agency. Wild Card: Telling Our Stories Through Tarot will publish in spring 2022.
Bluebird explained: “This beautifully illustrated guide is aimed at people who don’t think they are psychic but want to bring something playful, insightful and a little magical into their everyday lives. All 78 cards of the standard tarot deck are illustrated, and explained within the book, with gentle guidance on how to read them alone or in sequence, along with answers to common practical questions. Drawing on familiar archetypes of character and situation, Wild Card will help the reader to make sense of the abstract symbolism of the tarot and, by turn, the world around them.”
Lensvelt spent nearly a decade at the Times and was the books commissioning editor before joining publishing house Unbound, while Cownie has spent her career as a strategist in London ad agencies. Together they also perform together as Litwitchure, a live tarot-reading act that uses readings to interview authors and celebrities—including, to date, Nina Stibbe, Lucy Mangan and Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker—at UK festivals and events.
Spare commented: “I cannot tell you what a delight this book is. Fiona and Jen’s funny, intelligent and informative explanations bring each of the cards and their suits to life. I can’t wait for readers to be able to identify their Sun and their Strength, when to channel their inner High Priestess and how to love and nurture their Three of Cups. I am so excited that we at Bluebird get to publish this gorgeous book.”
The authors added: “Over the years we have met so many people who are curious about the tarot but don’t know where to start with it, or feel a little intimidated by its associations with psychic practice. To be honest, we felt the same way too, once! So, with Wild Card, we’ve written the book that we would have wanted to read when we were starting out. For us, the magic of the cards is in how they spark conversation and self-reflection, helping you to connect with people and offering new perspectives on what’s going on in your life. And we believe that’s just as relevant (and useful) today as it was 400 years ago. We’re so excited and delighted to have found in Bluebird a team who understands our weird little dream and has offered it a loving home.”
Unwin said: “Since seeing Fiona and Jen give a characteristically playful and thoughtful reading at a festival, I knew I wanted to read a book by them. As trust in the establishment wanes there is a real rise in witchery, but you don't have to be witchy to enjoy Wild Card. The tarot's actually a very practical, friendly and fun way to check in with yourself and they are definitely the women to take you through it.”
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