Trapeze has signed a “phenomenal” debut about male mental health, The Wreckage, and a second novel from senior Audible manager Robin Morgan-Bentley at auction.
Editorial director Phoebe Morgan acquired UK and Commonwealth rights at auction for the two books from Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. Trapeze will publish The Wreckage in hardback, e-book and trade paperback in 2020, followed by The Guesthouse in 2021.
The novel tells the story of Ben, a schoolteacher who hits a pedestrian, Adam, on his drive to work and the terrifying fall-out of the accident. Told through Ben’s viewpoint and that of Adam’s widow, Alice, the debut explores the consequences of the crash and everyone involved, “and marks the start of a hugely exciting career for Robin,” Milburn said.
Morgan said: “The Wreckage had me absolutely gripped from start to finish – it is a phenomenal read that explores so many fascinating themes including male anxiety and guilt, and asks the reader that all-important question: what would you do if you caused someone’s death? Would you cope? Or would you start to slowly fall apart?
“I am hugely excited to bring Robin to the Trapeze list and cannot wait to launch him next year.”
Morgan-Bentley said: “I am so delighted to have signed with Trapeze. I’ve admired their work for the last couple of years and there is the most exciting buzz and momentum about everyone there and everything they acquire. I knew from my first meeting with Phoebe and the wider team that this would be the right place for me. The Wreckage is a novel about male mental health, and I know that together we will publish it with the boldness and sensitivity that the topic deserves.”
Milburn said: “Robin’s debut is so fresh for the genre as he turns gender dynamics on their head in terms of typical suspense thrillers. Readers will be fascinated with the themes of male mental health which are underexplored in this area, and how the aftershocks of one horrendous incident can lead to the psychological breakdown of its victims. I believe he’s set to become a major brand name in the suspense market.”
After graduating from Cambridge with a first class degree in Modern and Medieval Languages, Morgan-Bentley worked for five years at Google.
Since 2014, he has been the senior editorial manager at Audible, responsible for deciding which audiobooks they promote to their customers and the various methods of promotion. He also runs their podcast, “Audible Sessions”, and has interviewed multiple crime authors including Fiona Barton, Clare Mackintosh, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Anthony Horowitz and Jeffery Deaver. He said that it was his conversations with these authors are what inspired him to start writing.