Doubleday will publish radio presenter Simon Mayo’s first adult novel, Mad Blood, inspired by the true story of a group of American sailors imprisoned in Dartmoor in the early 19th century.
Film rights have been snapped up by former Film4 chief Tessa Ross (“Slumdog Millionaire”, “12 Years a Slave” and “Ex Machina”) and ex-Working Title TV boss Juliette Howell at House Productions, with Jack Thorne (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”) set to write the screenplay.
Bill Scott-Kerr acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge & White, with plans to publish in spring 2018. Mayo said: “I knew as soon as I found the true story at the heart of Mad Blood that, while it would be the most complex of tales to tell, it would also be the most thrilling.”
Scott-Kerr added: “From the moment we started talking about this project, its dramatic potential and contemporary relevance were instantly and emphatically evident. Simon has unearthed an incredible true story and has brought his imagination brilliantly and empathetically to bear on it.”