Debut from L,B's Hodgson among pre-Fair deals

Debut from L,B's Hodgson among pre-Fair deals

A first novel from Little, Brown¹s editor-in-chief Antonia Hodgson is among the hot deals being signed ahead of next week's Frankfurt Book Fair.

Hodder publisher Nick Sayers has bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada), including ebook and audio, in Hodgson's novel, The Devil in the Marshalsea, a historical thriller set in 1727. The story follows a parson¹s son who finds himself in debtors' prison The Marshalsea Gaol and must solve a murder to escape, navigating a path through "a new world of hitherto unimaginable corruption and violence".

Sayers struck a two-book deal with Jo Unwin at Conville & Walsh, and will publish the first book in 2014. Conville & Walsh said there was "very strong international interest" in the title, with rights already sold in France and offers from Germany and the US.

Unwin told submission recipients only that the author was "a fellow publisher". Sayers said: "I loved The Devil in the Marshalsea from the moment I started reading its witty, stylish and scary opening chapters and I became even more enthusiastic when I discovered that Antonia had written it. She is a brilliant publisher, hugely respected and well-liked, and now she has revealed herself to be a very talented author too. How does she do it?" Hodgson said of her Hodder deal, "One benefit of working in publishing is that I know precisely how lucky I am. Nick Sayers is an incredible editor and publisher and I can't wait to work with him and the whole brilliant team at Hodder."

Meanwhile Bloomsbury has bought The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing, a debut by American writer Mira Jacob about a family split between cultures and generations, between India in the 1970s and Seattle in the 1990s. British Commonwealth rights including Australia and the Indian subcontinent (including Pakistan) were bought by Helen Garnon-Williams at Bloomsbury UK and Diya Kar Hazra at Bloomsbury India from Victoria Hobbs at A M Heath on behalf of Michelle Tessler at Tessler Literary Agency. US rights have gone to Random House. Garnons-Williams called the book "a big hearted, finely
crafted, beautiful novel people by glorious characters" and will publish in 2014.

Pan Macmillan has bought world rights in two more books by psychological suspense novelist Louise Millar, author of The Playdate, in a deal negotiated with Lizzy Kremer at David Higham Associates. The first of the newly acquired titles, Taken Away, will be published in 2014. Editorial director Trisha Jackson called Millar "an extremely interesting, observant and talented writer who has a remarkable talent for turning the seemingly ordinary domestic scenario into something quite sinister and disturbing."