HarperCollins has acquired author, editor and podcaster Bethany Rutter's debut adult novel, Welcome to Your Life, in a two-book deal.
Editor Natasha Bardon signed UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, for two books from Rachel Mann at the Jo Unwin Literary Agency.
The first title, Welcome to Your Life, out in May 2022, begins with Serena Mills sitting in her wedding dress in a Harvester restaurant off the M25, eating an ice-cream sundae and drinking an obscenely large glass of wine. She has just jilted her partner of 10 years at the altar. At 29 she has suddenly realised that she wants more than a fiancé she is with out of habit, a house she lives in out of convenience and a job she works at because it’s easy.
The synopsis says: “There’s one problem: Serena Mills is fat. She’s has been repeatedly told that she’s lucky to even be in a relationship, to have a house, a job, let alone with someone so obviously ‘better than her’. But enough is enough. Serena decides it's worth risking being alone to find out if there is more: more to life, more to her career, more to love, more than apologising for her size and more to her. She promises herself that in one year’s time she’ll have it all figured out and the love of her life by her side. 52 weeks. 52 dates. 52 chances to find love.”
Rutter is the author of YA titles Melt My Heart and No Big Deal (Macmillan Children's Books) as well as a journalist and blogger who writes about fat bodies, plus-size fashion and body politics including the benefits and limitations of body positivity. She works freelance in marketing, formerly for a plus-size fashion brand, has her own jewellery line and is an occasional DJ. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, Telegraph Magazine, Vogue, Dazed, RedOnline, the Debrief and others. She co-hosts the podcast “What Page Are You On?”.
She said: “Writing romances has been one of the biggest joys of my life, and I'm just so delighted to be writing for adults for the first time. I'm even more delighted to be doing it with the incredible HarperFiction team and feel very lucky to have them along with me!”
Acquiring editor Natasha Bardon added: “I’ve loved Bethany’s work for a long time. Her writing is fresh, her books are full of warmth, heart and humour, but also cater to anyone who has ever struggled to see themselves in the heroine they’re reading on the page. I’m so excited to be publishing her first adult offering and can’t wait for readers to meet Serena Mills. She’s charming, necessary and exactly what you need in your life.”