Bonnier Zaffre will publish a “sparkling” Middle Grade series from children’s librarian Sophie Green.
Imprint Picadilly Press will publish Potkin and Stubs as a trilogy, featuring “reluctant ghosts, wisecracks and an unusual investigative duo” from debut author and children’s stock librarian for Suffolk Libraries..
Emma Matthewson, publishing director for children’s fiction at Bonnier Zaffre, negotiated the deal with Hilary Delamere from The Agency. Piccadilly Press is set to the launch the trilogy in March 2019 continuing into 2020.
The series contains “shades of Gotham City, Scooby Doo and Lemony Snicket”, and the series will be illustrated by Karl Mountford.
“Potkin and Stubbs started as a ghost story, and became a detective noir steeped in comedy, but at its heart it's a story about what it means to be believed in, and what it takes to believe in someone else,” Green said.
She added: “It's every writer's dream to be able to debut with the story they wanted to tell, just as they wanted to tell it, and I was completely thrilled to have this novel picked up so passionately by the wonderful team at Piccadilly Press.”
Matthewson said: “Sophie’s writing won me over from her opening lines and had me in thrall until the very last ghostly page. Her stories are brimful of warmth, great heart and thrilling action. We are so proud to be welcoming Sophie to the Piccadilly list for this exciting new series.”
Green has a Zoology degree and an interest in folklore. Her first manuscript, The Last Giant, was shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition in 2011. Her work has also been shortlisted by the Bath Children's Novel Award in 2016 and she has been recognised by the Bridport Prize and the BBC.
Children's agents and publishers told The Bookseller earlier this week that Middle Grade is set to dominate the Bologna Children's Book Fair next week.