HarperCollins signs 'stunning' middle-grade series by debut author Hastings

HarperCollins signs 'stunning' middle-grade series by debut author Hastings

HarperCollins Children’s Books has scooped a "stunning" magical-historical middle-grade series by debut writer Natasha Hastings.

Michelle Misra, editorial director, acquired world rights at auction alongside Alice Jerman in the US in a multi-book deal for The Miraculous Sweetmakers from Chloe Seager at the Madeleine Milburn Agency.

The first book in the series, The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair, will publish simultaneously in the UK and US in hardback in October 2022, and will be supported by a big marketing and PR campaign.

The synopsis says: "It’s a cold winter during the Great Frost of 1683. Thomasina and Anne are the best of friends: one runs her father’s sweet shop, while the other is an apprentice at the family apothecary, and together they sell their goods on the frozen River Thames. When a family tragedy turns Thomasina’s world upside down, she is drawn to a mysterious conjuror and an enchanted frost fair, but soon the world of Father Winter threatens to claim everything she holds dear. Will they be able to solve the magical mysteries that surround them . . . ?"

Jerman said: "I fell in love with Natasha Hastings’ story. With classic fantasy elements that nod to beloved favorites, an incredibly imaginative magic system based on sorrow and memories, a delightfully brave main character, and a fantastic setting, The Miraculous Sweetmakers will be a great addition to our HarperCollins Children’s Books list."

The author was selected to join the London Library’s Emerging Writers Programme in 2019. She is currently working as a fundraiser, and started developing The Frost Fair while studying history at Cambridge University.

Hastings added: "It’s a dream come true to work with the HarperCollins team, and I can’t wait to introduce Thomasina, Anne, and the magical world they discover to readers. I’m so grateful to my superstar agent, Chloe Seager, as well as the rest of the Madeleine Milburn Agency, for their amazing help in getting my book ready for submission."