HoZ signs 'mysterious and gritty' debut

HoZ signs 'mysterious and gritty' debut

Head of Zeus imprint Apollo has acquired The Insomnia Museum, the debut novel from Welsh writer Laurie Canciani.

Commissioning editor Helen Francis acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in the book from Will Francis at Janklow and Nesbit.

The novel features 17-year-old protagonist Anna who lives with her father in a tiny chaotic flat on a sprawling unnamed council estate. She has no memory of the outside world, aware of it only through the noises that penetrate its walls as she and her father spend their time adapting and manipulating bits of trash her father collects. Then one day her Dad falls asleep and won’t wake up, and Anna must leave the safety of the flat - the ‘Museum’ - and try to survive in a place that turns out to be stranger and more dangerous than she could have imagined.

Will Francis said: "This is a novel that effortlessly conjures a world. It's mysterious, gritty, deeply imagined and it haunted me for days after I finished reading it."

Helen Francis said: "This is an extraordinary novel, mythical and magical whilst also exploring deprivation and poverty. Raw and lyrical, timeless and incredibly contemporary, Canciana has created an intricately imagined world. I am thrilled to be adding it to the Apollo list."

Canciani is a writer and blogger who lives in Bridgend, Wales. She said: "This novel was four years of experimentation, failure, triumph, and getting lost inside my own head. It reflects what it’s like to be an outsider, and I can't imagine a better home for it than Apollo."

The Insomnia Museum will be published in June 2018.