HQ will publish two books by Seni Glaister, the co-founder and former chief executive of The Book People.
The HarperCollins imprint's editor Clio Cornish negotiated the deal for HarperCollins with Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown.
Mr Doubler Begins Again will be published by HQ in the UK in January 2019, with HarperCollins set to publish in six other territories: Germany, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland.
It is described as “an uplifting, thought-provoking and charming novel about a potato farmer who lives alone, and has lost his way since losing his wife,” with the second novel is also described as “in a similar vein”.
Glaister founded The Book People with Ted Smart in 1988, initially as a mail-order company. The pair built it into one of the largest book retailers in the UK, before Glaister led a management buyout in 2014 which saw Smart leave the business. Glaister subsequently oversaw a restructure before stepping down as c.e.o. in June 2015. The following year she co-founded supper club website WeFiFo, and her debut, The Museum of Things Left Behind, published by 4th Estate in 2015.
Cornish said: “Seni is an exceptional storyteller, and Mr Doubler Begins Again is just what I’ve been looking for. It’s a perfectly observed, poignant novel – exploring aging, loneliness, and what happens when life leaves you behind. But it’s also an uplifting celebration of the seasons, and a reminder that it really is never is too late to start again. I’m hugely excited to welcome Seni to HQ and can’t wait to introduce the world to the potato-farming, gin-distilling Mr Doubler who, once met, won’t be easily forgotten.”
Glaister said: “I’m thrilled to be staying within the HarperCollins family for my second and third novels − and so, so excited to be in the expert hands of Lisa Milton, Clio Cornish and the redoubtable team at HQ. Mr Doubler Begins Again is a book about potatoes. It is also a book about love, legacy, loneliness and the perfect gin and tonic and I can’t wait to share it (the gin and tonic that is) with as many people as possible."
Lloyd said: “To those who know and admire her it will not be too much of a surprise that Seni is also such an accomplished and beautiful story-teller. To those who don’t yet know her you are in for a treat. This book is very special − magical and memorable. I am thrilled to have entrusted her to the young and vibrant HQ who so far have not put a foot wrong.”