Gollancz has acquired a trilogy written by a 17-year-old girl, which will “appeal to both adults and teenagers”.
The first book in the series, The Seventh Miss Hatfield will be the debut novel from Anna Caltabiano.
Editor Marcus Gipps at Gollancz pre-empted world rights, excluding North America, from Maggie Hanbury at The Hanbury Agency “for a good six-figure sum”.
The book was offered at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair.
Gipps said: “As soon as Maggie told me about Anna and her book I was interested, but reading the first draft exceeded my expectations dramatically.
“Her lead character is complex and conflicted, but feels true throughout – and there’s no doubt that she is in control of her destiny. If this is what she can write when she’s 17, we can’t wait to see what she’ll achieve in the future.”
Caltabiano said: “I am grateful to be working with such a well-regarded publisher and with an editor who believes in me and shares my vision.
“While I hope my trilogy will be enjoyed by readers of all ages, I write from the perspective of young adults going through critical transitions in their lives. This trilogy explores first love, first loss, and the first realisation that memories are fragile.”
The Seventh Miss Hatfield follows Rebecca, a young American unhappy with her life. When her mysterious neighbour Miss Hatfield invites her in, Rebecca isn’t entirely sure why she says yes. A short while later, Rebecca becomes immersed in her neighbour’s peculiar world – not only does she discover that Miss Hatfield is immortal, but that she has century-spanning plans, which will soon involve Rebecca.
The Seventh Miss Hatfield will be published in hardback and e-book on 21st July, with the second and third books released in 2015 and 2016.