Hodder to release final Earth’s Children novel

Hodder to release final Earth’s Children novel

Hodder & Stoughton is gearing up for the launch of the final book in the Earth’s Children series, which began 35 years ago with an idea for a short story.

The Land of Painted Caves will be the sixth novel in Jean M Auel’s series which follows Ayla, a girl orphaned in an earthquake and brought up by a clan of Neanderthals before becoming a wife, ­mother and now in the last book a wise woman of the Ninth Cave, a group of Cro-Magnons in south-west France. The fifth novel, Shelters of Stone, was published nine years ago, selling 2.3 million ­copies worldwide in its first six months.

H&S is planning a huge publicity and marketing campaign, and will host Auel’s only event in Europe for the launch at the Natural History ­Museum on 28th February. She will be in conversation with professor Chris Stringer, head of human origins research at the museum.

Waterstone’s will promote the title on waterstones.com and through its email newsletter. The publisher is also creating a special book plate in conjunction with the chain, which Auel will sign for all the pre-orders of the book.

The Guardian online will run an author interview video plus further editorial content. Auel will also appear on BBC Radio 4's “Woman’s Hour” as one of a number of planned press interviews.  Editor Sue Fletcher said: “The books deal with what it means to be human, within a compelling narrative.”

The Land of the Painted Caves will be published on 29th March as a £19.99 ­hardback.