Hachette Children’s Books (HCB) has signed a book deal with Andy Riley, the scriptwriter and cartoonist behind the Bunny Suicides series.
The deal, which is the first for HCB under the leadership of c.e.o. Hilary Murray Hill, is for The Evil Emperor, a humorous tale about Edwin, a nine-year-old king. Every Friday, Edwin spends all his pocket money on chocolate for the peasants, but when then money runs out the evil Emperor Nurbison tries to claim the land for his own.
Written and illustrated by Riley, the book will be published by Hodder Children’s Books in paperback in summer 2016, priced £6.99.
“I made my first illustrated chapter books for children when I was eight,” Riley said. “It feels fantastic to be jumping back in now.”
Anne McNeil, publishing director for Hodder Children’s, acquired world rights to The Evil Emperor, excluding the US, in a three-book deal from agent Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown. The book will be edited by senior commissioning editor Emma Goldhawk.
Murray Hill said she was “thrilled” with the acquisition. “It’s been great to work with colleagues at Hodder in acquiring Andy’s novels for children, which we all feel have outstanding potential. Andy’s previous publishing success, allied to his comedy writing credentials, is an exceptional combination.”
Riley is also the author of Great Lies to Tell Small Kids (Hodder & Stoughton) and his writing credits for TV include adaptations of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny and The Boy in the Dress, as well as work on “Veep”, “Little Britain” and “Smack the Pony”.