Hodder Studio has acquired Pride and Prejudice on Social Media by Sarah Day and Claire McGowan in a two-book deal, a retelling of the Jane Austen classic through social media posts.
Editorial director Sara Adams and assistant editor Bea Fitzgerald made the deal for world rights from Juliet Mushens at Mushens Entertainment and Diana Beaumont at Marjacq. The first title will be published on 11th November 2021.
The idea for Pride and Prejudice on Social Media came to Day and McGowan eight years ago, on a walk to Durdle Door in Dorset. They commented: "We’re both huge fans of the book and the BBC series, and often quote it back and forward. We started making ourselves laugh on the walk, imagining how the characters would behave social media sites – Mr Wickham creeping on people’s photos; Mrs Bennet anxiously Googling her nervous symptoms; Lizzie and Darcy’s flirtatious back-and-forths and her savage one-tweet put downs. Since then, we’ve often talked about what a fun book it would make.
"However, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that we suddenly had the time, and created a series of posts from the point of view of the characters to share on social media. Landing during a dark and frightening time for many, the posts quickly went viral, attracting over 6,000 Facebook comments and almost 150,000 Twitter impressions. During lockdown, returning to our random idea and these characters who felt like old friends, brought us a lot of joy. It was lovely seeing that it did the same for others, too."
Hodder Studio said: "We’re so excited to welcome Sarah Day and Claire McGowan to our list and Pride and Prejudice on Social Media is exactly the sort of fun, creative storytelling we love to publish at Hodder Studio. We’re so excited to expand this story that started on social media and share this with readers. This story is hilarious, brilliant and should be on everyone’s Christmas lists."
Day's debut novel, Mussolini’s Island (Tinder Press), received a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown. McGowan is the author of several novels including The Push with Thomas & Mercer in 2020.