Hodder & Stoughton has acquired a "brave and life affirming" debut about love, clinical depression and men called Boys Don't Cry.
The book's authors are a couple: artist Bryony Kimmings and advertising professional Tim Grayburn. Six months into their relationship, Kimmings discovered Grayburn's "secret" that he suffered from severe clinical depression and acute anxiety. She only found out by discovering tablets hidden in his backpack. He had kept it from almost everyone for nearly a decade because it made him feel "weak and shameful".
Based on this experience, and addressing the issue of mental illness in men, Boys Don't Cry is "the story of a relationship in which one party sometimes wants to die". It is described as a book about deep love and depression written from both sides. It looks at "what it really takes to be a ‘real man’", as written by two people who decided that they "wanted to change the world by no longer being silent". The couple have also embarked on a worldwide tour called "Fake it 'til you Make it" on the topic.
Senior editor Briony Gowlett acquired world rights from Cath Gagon at Avalon.
Gowlett said: "It’s a special thing to find two people so talented, honest and dead set on making positive change. Lucky for me (and soon readers of their book) Bryony and Tim exemplify all three of those qualities and I can’t wait to bring their story and message to a wider audience and give this subject the spotlight it deserves."
Kimmings and Grayburn said jointly: "After tackling depression head on as a couple behind closed doors we made the life-changing decision to come clean and spill the details of the complexities of Tim's broken brain, and how we ensure our relationship survives, by making a theatre show and touring the world. This show, Fake it 'til you Make it, has connected us with others who suffer silently. Encouraging them to stand up to the stigma, come to terms with their own mental health and live more honestly, and we hope the book will do the same for an even wider audience."
Boys Don’t Cry will be published as a hardback in August 2016.