Hot Key Books has acquired a new teen series from debut author and Foyles bookseller Chloe Coles.
The series is about female friendship and the fight to save a struggling independent bookshop.
The series has been tipped as "Louise Rennison meets Holly Bourne" and is set in an English town the characters are longing to escape from.
Felicity Johnston, commissioning editor at Bonnier Zaffre, negotiated world rights for two books from Polly Nolan at the Greenhouse Literary Agency. The first book will publish in June 2018 with the second to follow soon after in October 2018.
At the centre of the story is Bennett’s Bookshop, a place that has always been a haven for 16-year old protagonist Paige Turner and her best friend Holly, and which is now at risk of becoming another "casualty of the high street".
In the story, Paige must mount a campaign to save it. But it's not the only issue she has, with the book's blurb closing: "How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?"
Like her debut's protagonist, Coles has also worked as a bookseller since the age of 16. Now in her twenties, she is a children's specialist and assistant buyer at Foyles Charing Cross. She commented: "As a bookseller it's a dream come true to be published and I cannot wait to see my very own book on the shelves."
Johnston added: "Chloe is a dream author. She has a brilliant voice, her characters are funny, loveable and outrageous and she writes teenage friendships with the most wonderful warmth and authenticity. On top of that, she’s an artist, singer and bookseller. What more could we ask for?"