Literary thriller and Berlin debut novelist signed by HQ

Literary thriller and Berlin debut novelist signed by HQ

HarperCollins imprint HQ has acquired two new titles: a book club read from author and journalist, Allegra Huston and an explosive literary thriller by 24 year-old debut writer Jonathan Lyon.

Sally Williamson, senior commissioning editor at HQ, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights to two books by screenwriter, journalist and author Allegra Huston from Caroline Wood at Felicity Bryan Associates. The first book, Say My Name, will be released this August in hardback, e-book and audio, and is an "empowering, sensuous" novel about a woman emerging from a lifeless marriage who, in seeing herself through the eyes of a younger man, discovers her potential for self-fulfilment and joy.

Williamson said she is "incredibly excited" to be publishing Huston's book. "Her writing is so wonderfully understated yet so powerful, and I love that this story is all about a woman finding her own sense of self – it is empowering, unsentimental and absolutely not your typical ‘affair’ story. It’s brilliant", she said.

Huston added: "I'm thrilled by HQ's enthusiasm for my book, impressed by Sally Williamson's skill and imagination as an editor, and looking forward to a long and beautiful professional friendship with HQ. I'm proud to be in the company of authors who have given pleasure to so many readers."

Meanwhile, HQ editor Clio Cornish acquired world English rights to the debut novel Carnivore by British debut novelist based in Berlin, Jonathan Lyon.

Cornish acquired the rights from Zoe Ross at United Agents.

Billed as "Dorian Gray meets Trainspotting", Carnivore follows a "unique" anti-hero, Leander, as he prowls London in search of the next high. One act of chaos leads to another – until Leander comes to the attention of one of the capital’s most notorious criminals, and decides to put their appetite for violence to the ultimate test. "Darkly humorous and shocking from its first pages, Carnivore is an explosive read from a bold new voice, partly inspired by the author’s own experience with chronic pain", the publisher said.

Cornish said: "I was hooked from the moment I started reading this astonishing debut. It’s exquisitely written – from Jonathan’s stunning use of synaesthesia to his razor-sharp dialogue – while a high-octane plot makes it a fully-certified, gritty London thriller; think Martina Cole meets Irvine Welsh. Shocking and visceral, with shades of cult classics, Carnivore is a one-sitting read which can’t be forgotten; I’m delighted to have acquired it for HQ’s growing fiction list."

Lyon said: "I’m delighted to be working with Lisa Milton, Clio Cornish, and the team at HQ in bringing Carnivore to publication. Clio is a wonderfully perceptive editor and Lisa’s bold ambitions for HQ are ideal for a novel as bold as mine. I wanted Carnivore to combine the rhythms of commercial fiction with the intensity of literary fiction – so HQ’s bespoke focus, joined to HarperCollins’ wider reach, made it the perfect home for me. And I love the freshness of HQ as a brand, as it means they’re deeply engaged with the same contemporary issues that are central to my work. I look forward to a long relationship."

Carnivore will be published in hardback in August 2017.