Chicken House has snapped up rights to The House on Hoarder Hill by debut writing duo Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai, in a deal done between Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham and Oliver Latsch of LatschLit.
Originally conceived as a TV series, The House on Hoarder Hill began life as a script written by Lish and Ngai. The authors also produced a trailer, which garnered over one million views.
Chicken House scooped world rights excluding film, TV and Germany. Chicken House will publish in the UK in March 2020.
The story is currently being developed for television with Wiip and Ghost House Pictures – the production company of "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi.
"Hedy and Spencer are forced to spend time with their Grandpa John, who is now a recluse but was once a famous magician. In the house of a retired magician, you never know what – or who – you may find and the two children discover that, like Grandpa himself, the house possesses not only secrets but real magic," reads the synopsis. "Hidden in the labyrinth of his belongings are the clues to solving their family’s biggest mystery: the disappearance of their grandmother, Rose, whom they have never met. Searching for clues in Grandpa’s house unveils long-forgotten enchantments, surprising foes and a few unexpected friends. Using their ingenuity, bravery and new-found belief in magic, Hedy and Spencer reveal the truth behind Rose’s disappearance and heal the family rift that finally sets their grandmother free."
Lish, who lives in the US, and Ngai, who lives in Australia, said: "We're over the moon that characters who have lived so long in our heads will now be shared with the world thanks to Chicken House! With this story, we hope readers will be inspired to have sneaking suspicions about the ordinary objects around them, and believe that anything could harbour magic."
Cunningham said: "Of course I believe in magic – but what Mikki and Kelly have is a secret spell for words, and I couldn't be more excited to set their talent loose in this fantastic blend of mystery, magic and mayhem!"
Latsch added: "What a story! And what a team! Reading a captivating story with such a rich cast of fascinating characters and then having the joy of working with its two amazing authors is a rare treat for a literary agent. Kelly and Mikki are a juggernaut storytelling team, passionate and professional, and they make it all look so easy, despite the 7,500 miles of distance between them."