Comedian Julian Clary has signed a deal with Andersen Press for his debut children’s novel, a comic tale about a family of hyenas.
The publisher acquired world rights to The Bolds, for readers aged 8+, in a two-book deal from Eugenie Furniss at Furniss Lawton.
The book is about a family of hyenas who disguise themselves as humans in the London suburb of Teddington. It is illustrated by David Roberts and will be published in August 2015.
Clary, who has written several adult novels, including Murder Most Fab and the memoir A Young Man’s Passage (both Ebury Press), said he wanted to write a children’s book to relive the thrill of reading as a child.
“The idea came from stories I used to make up for myself as a child, and I grew up in Teddington – a very suburban place with tree-lined streets and a nice park – so it seemed right and proper to set it there,” he said.
Charlie Sheppard, editorial director for fiction at Andersen Press, said the deal “feels like the start of something very special”. She said: “I hope generations of children will fall in love with this wonderful family, and take to their hearts the brilliant and importantthings Julian has to say - all through humour.”
Clary is one of several comedians to pen children’s book this year. David Baddiel’s The Parent Agency was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in October, the same month Picadilly Press released the first book in a young teen series, The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird, by Arabella Weir.
Russell Brand’s Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin was released by Canongate earlier this month.