A “high-concept, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure” debut has become Chicken House’s fastest ever selling international rights title, with 12 territories buying the rights within four weeks of submission.
Rights director Elinor Bagenal sold Anna Day’s The Fandom in territories such as the US, Australia and Germany with five pre-empts. TV and Film rights are represented by The Blair Partnership.
The fan-fiction novel finds fans stuck in the world of their favourite story. It was inspired by the winning entry of the Big Idea competition runner-up Angela McCann. Chicken House publisher and m.d. Barry Cunningham and agent Neil Blair launched the competition in 2014 to find “multi-platform” stories that could be adapted into films, TV shows, plays or computer games as well as books. The publisher then paired McCann up with Day to build on the universe created in Day’s novel The Gallows Dance for which she was shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition in 2015.
A Chicken House spokesperson said: "Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic Con. They can't wait to experience the fandom of mega movie, 'The Gallows Dance'. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands."
Cunningham said: “International rights to The Fandom have sold faster than any other Chicken House title, ever – it has grabbed the imagination of publishers around the world because it plays to the essence of why readers read books, and what excites fans about stories that they love.”
The Fandom is due to be published in the UK in October 2017.
Author Emma Carroll has written a novel based on the Big Idea's winning entry, The First Aeronauts, by Neal Jackson, about three animals in a hot air balloon. Set in eighteenth-century Paris and Versailles, Carroll's Sky Chasers will be published by Chicken House later this year.