Zaffre has bought two new novels from Stacey Halls as TV rights for her debut, The Familiars, have been snapped up.
Margaret Stead, publishing director at Zaffre, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada to the two books by the former Bookseller media editor, from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens. Meanwhile television rights to The Familiars, published by Zaffre in February, have just been sold to Tristan Goligher at The Bureau production company from Emily Hayward-Whitlock at The Artist Partnership on behalf of Mushens.
The as-yet-untitled next book will be set in Edwardian Yorkshire "in the gloomy valleys and damp woodland of Hebden Bridge where a recently graduated Norland nanny gets a position with the perfect family, who are hiding their own dark secrets," Zaffre said. It will be published in 2021, followed by the next book in 2022.
The Familiars has been in the Sunday Times bestseller list and has hit number 2. It has sold 17,120 copies for £147,077 across hardback and trade paperback, according to Nielsen BookScan. Rights have also sold in eight other countries. It was the subject of a nine-publishers auction in 2017, with Halls working as Fabulous magazine’s deputy chief sub at the time and known as Stacey Bartlett. The historical novel is based around the notorious Pendle witch trials, which took place in 1612 near to where the author is from.
Halls said: "I’m absolutely delighted to be continuing my writing career with Bonnier Books UK, who have so creatively and enthusiastically published my debut The Familiars. They have been a dream to work with and I’m looking forward to many more happy years being published by them."
Stead added: "The team at Zaffre are delighted to have signed up Stacey for two more wonderful historical novels. She is a dream author to work with, and we've all been overjoyed with the incredible response from the trade and press for her debut, The Familiars. Stacey has worked tirelessly with booksellers and media around the country, and the results speak for themselves. We are looking forward to working with Stacey on her next novels, as she builds her career.”