HarperCollins Children's Books has snapped up world rights in a "lightning-strike pre-empt" to A Clock of Stars by children's author Francesca Gibbons in a major three-book deal.
Fiction publisher, Nick Lake pre-empted the "stand-out debut" from Claire Wilson at RCW, in an exclusive submission.
Illustrated by internationally bestselling illustrator, former Children’s Laureate and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals winner Chris Riddell, HarperCollins will publish A Clock of Stars in seven languages around the world as part of its global publishing programme.
The first book in the series, A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth, is set for publication in hardback (£12.99) in October 2020, featuring black and white illustrations by Chris Riddell.
Hailed as "the arrival of a modern classic", the synopsis reads: "As the irrepressible Imogen follows a silver moth to a door in a tree – and through it into another world – children everywhere will wish they could follow in her footsteps…"
Lake said, “With one of the most startlingly brilliant voices I have seen in years, Francesca Gibbons takes the reader through a magical door and into a world of breathless adventure, suffused at all times with winking humour and boundless heart. I am also thrilled that Chris Riddell is bringing his peerless illustrative talents to A Clock of Stars, which is a real testament to the sheer quality of this stand-out debut. It’s time for children all over the globe to enter a whole new world – and fall in love as we did.”
Gibbons, who worked as a copywriter at a marketing agency before leaving to focus on her career as a children’s author, added: “Being published by HarperCollins and working with Chris Riddell is a dream come true – not just for grown-up Fran, but for my 12-year-old self. That’s how old I was when I first had the idea for the story. I still can’t quite believe that it’s going to be read by other children – and maybe a few adults too.”
A Clock of Stars will be published by HarperCollins in the UK and Commonwealth, Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Poland.