HarperCollins wins eight-publisher battle for Fowler's adventure series

HarperCollins wins eight-publisher battle for Fowler's adventure series

HarperCollins Children’s Books has triumphed in an eight-publisher UK auction for début author Aisling Fowler’s Middle Grade magical adventure series Fireborn.

In a major co-publication deal, world rights for the three-book series were sold to Nick Lake, fiction publisher at HCUK and Kristen Pettit, executive editor at HCUS, by Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge & White.

The series is also being published in nine other countries as part of Harper’s global publishing programme, with further foreign rights deals secured in 11 other territories.

Set in the snowy northern forests of an imagined prehistoric world, Fireborn is billed as "a breath-taking début, at turns exciting, funny and heart-wrenchingly sad".

The synopsis explains: "Twelve has spoken the Pledge, and now she is a Huntling. She has given up her name, to train in the art of fighting monsters and keeping the peace, and she won’t get to choose a new one until she has earned it. But when the lodge’s walls are breached for the first time, and a little girl is taken, Twelve is the only one interested in going after a child… and ends up on a quest that will change her life, her name—and her entire world."

Lake said: "Aisling is quite simply a born storyteller. Like everyone who has read it, I was blown away by Fireborn’s gripping narrative, its imaginative power and its ability, like life itself, to evoke every possible emotion. I am so pleased that she has chosen to join HarperCollins and publish as part of our world-class fantasy list."

Fowler was raised in Surrey on a diet of books and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". After earning a BSc in Biology and working as a support worker and then as a nurse, the idea for Fireborn came to her as she moved back and forth between London and the US.

She said: "I loved every moment of writing Twelve’s story and am delighted that she has found such a brilliant home at HarperCollins. Working with Nick and Kristen is an absolute pleasure and I know I’m in the safest of hands. I can’t wait to see Fireborn out in the world, where I hope it will capture the imagination of children everywhere."

Pettit added: "Fireborn is the kind of story that crosses an editor’s desk once in a lifetime. Aisling Fowler’s gift for fully-rendered characters, for tightly-crafted plot and, most importantly, for communicating emotional truth struck me through the heart. I’m so proud to be publishing her here in the US."