Geard debut to Headline Review in three-publisher auction

Geard debut to Headline Review in three-publisher auction

Headline Review has landed The Secrets of Blackwater Hall, the debut novel from geologist Amanda Geard, in a three-way auction.

Publisher Sherise Hobbs and editorial assistant Bea Grabowska acquired world rights in two books from Rebecca Ritchie at A M Heath. The Secrets of Blackwater Hall will be published in hardback in spring 2022.

Born in Australia, the author’s adopted home in the west of Ireland inspired her debut novel which is set in the fictional Blackwater Hall, the ancestral home of the Rathmore family and where a young woman vanishes in 1940, assumed drowned in the lough. Decades later, a faded letter, tucked inside the pages of an old book, is discovered by a young journalist, who begins to unravel the mystery that holds the key to the girl’s disappearance.

Hobbs said: “A powerful, beautifully written and devastatingly moving novel, Amanda Geard’s novel held me in its spell and transported me from the beautiful and wild landscape of south-west Ireland to London during the war years and its aftermath. This is a rich, multi-layered novel of love, tragedy and family secrets from a bewitching new writing talent. We can’t wait to publish it next year."

Geard added: “Sometimes it takes the right landscape to inspire a writer’s first story and south-west Ireland did that for me, as it has for many authors before. I knew from the first chat with Sherise Hobbs and Bea Grabowska that they loved County Kerry as much as I do and I adored transporting them to this wild and evocative place – and can’t wait to bring readers here too!”