HarperCollins Children's Books has signed a two-book deal with Irish crime writer Alex Barclay.
Nick Lake, fiction publishing director at HarperCollins Children’s Books, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from agent Simon Trewin.
The first book in the new deal, My Heart & Other Breakables: How I lost my mom, found my dad, and made friends with catastrophe is a diary-form novel for 11+ and will publish in hardback in March 2020.
Lake said, “Alex’s voice in this book absolutely blew me away: she has such a sure touch and can turn on a dime from heart-break to hilarity. Her humour, passion and spirit shine through every page, and will resonate with teen readers everywhere. At HarperCollins we have an unrivalled reputation for publishing strong girl characters, from Georgia Nicolson to Geek Girl, so we know that young teens adore the diary format, and this stunning book follows in that tradition. A brilliant high concept mystery powered by an enormous heart, it might just be the funniest book ever to make you cry your eyes out.”
My Heart & Other Breakables is the "hilarious and heart-rending diary of Ellery Brown," said HarperCollins. "Fashion-conscious, smart, witty and resourceful, American-born but Irish-living Ellery is the most unforgettable character to appear in teen fiction for years. Her mom, a bestselling author, has recently died, and Ellery has no idea who her father is. Her only clue is that he just might be one of the authors on her mom’s bookshelf – three of whom signed their books to her mom. But which one? Ellery is determined to find out – and not prepared for the drama that ensues..."
Barclay, who is the author of seven crime novels, added: “It was a joy to write My Heart & Other Breakables, to get such a gorgeous response from HarperCollins Children’s, and to be teamed up with the extraordinary talent that is Nick Lake.”
As a crime writer, Barclay has sold a total of 296,900 books for £1.2m. through BookSCan, with her bestseller The Caller (Harper) at 78,682 copies sold.