HarperCollins has bought three books from crime writer Adam Baron including his middle-grade debut following a “significant pre-emptive” deal.
The contract for world rights was negotiated by Sarah Hughes, fiction publisher at HarperCollins UK, with Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.
Boy Underwater is already attracting “tremendous rights interest” with several territories already under negotiation, according to the publisher. The book follows a boy, Cymbeline, whose life is changed during an accident during his first swimming lesson. The incident then unearths a family mystery that only he and his friends can solve.
It will be published in May 2018, with simultaneous e-book and audiobook publication.
Hughes described Boy Underwater is as one of those “once-in-a-decade books”.
She said: “Adam is exactly the kind of exceptional voice-led talent that we all dream of and I couldn’t be more delighted and proud to welcome him to the HarperCollins list.”
Baron, who runs the MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University in London, said: “I loved writing Boy Underwater and am delighted that it’s joining such a stunning list.”
He has written five adult books - the first four were crime novels (Pan Macmillan) with the latest, a literary novel, Blackheath, published by Myriad Editions in Spring 2016.