Borough scoops editor's debut following five-way auction

Borough scoops editor's debut following five-way auction

Borough Press has won a five-way auction for a book aimed at fans of “Girls” and “Fleabag”, written by commissioning editor for Lincoln Books, Kate Davies.

The HarperCollins imprint’s publishing director Suzie Doore acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada to In At The Deep End from Judith Murray at Greene and Heaton. Borough will publish as a lead title in hardback next spring.

The coming of age debut by Davies, a commissioning editor for the Quarto imprint Lincoln Books, was described by Murray as her “book of the fair” at London Book Fair last month.

Murray revealed that she was “utterly thrilled that the wonderful Suzie Dooré and Borough Press have triumphed over very intense competition from four other brilliant publishers” to publish “the deliciously fresh and funny” novel.

The book follows Julia who has not had sex for three years. The encounter that breaks her drought is toe-curling, the blurb reads, and not in the good way. The title is billed as “a frank, funny and filthy novel about love, friendship and figuring out who you are, and contains both the best and the worst sex you will ever have read”.

Davies grew up in north-west London and went on to study English at Oxford University before becoming a writer and editor of children’s books. She also writes comedy scripts, and “had a short-lived career as a burlesque dancer that ended when she was booed off stage at a Conservative club, dressed as a bingo ball”.

The author, now based in east London, said: “I wanted to write a novel that was funny and warm and true, something that was honest about lesbian sex the way "Girls" and "Fleabag" are honest about heterosexual sex. I'm so pleased so many people have been able to relate to Julia's story – mostly because it reassures me I'm not going mad – and I'm thrilled that Julia has found a home with Suzie and her brilliant team at Borough Press. I'm still pinching myself (but I think I'll stop now, because it's quite painful).”

Dooré added: “This was love at first page for me – Kate’s writing is confident, polished and completely hilarious and Julia’s voice and personality are so strong, I feel like she now lives in my head. We are all delighted to have acquired In At The Deep End and I can’t wait for us to publish it.”