Hachette signs new L J Smith

Hachette has acquired the new standalone novel by L J Smith, author of the Vampire Diaries series.

Anne McNeil, Hodder Children's Books publishing director, acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) English language rights in The Last Lullaby on a pre-empt from Alex Slater of Trident Media. Slater also brokered a deal for French language rights for Hachette's Black Moon in France.

McNeil and Terouanne said: “Lisa Smith is certainly one of the most successful and compelling authors for young people of her generation. Pre-dating the phenomenal rise in paranormal sales, the Night World, Secret Circle and Vampire Diaries series brought brilliant characterisation, drama and dangerous love to an army of readers . . .

"We are both thrilled to have the privilege of working with her on this outstanding new novel; a rich fantastical tale, featuring a cast of amazing grotesques and two heroines whose names will become synonymous with the greatest names of modern literature.”

Smith added: "I am both proud and delighted to be working with Hodder Children’s Books and Black Moon on my new book, The Last Lullaby. I hope my fans in the UK and France will be just as excited about this new novel as I am.”

The Last Lullaby is set in a labyrinthine world ruled by the tyrannical Overseer. The publisher described it as "a powerful fantasy" with "strong female protagonists".

According to the publisher, L J Smith's global sales far exceed 10m copies.