HQ has landed two books from American author Celia Laskey "skewering modern relationship culture with razor-sharp wit".
Senior commissioning editor Cicely Aspinall acquired UK and commonwealth rights excluding Canada for Under the Rainbow and So Happy For You from Jennifer Helinek at the Trident Media Group.
Under the Rainbow, Laskley's debut, was published by Riverhead in the US in 2020 and was longlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize in New York. It tells the story of a town voted "the most homophobic in the US" and a queer taskforce who plan to live in the town for two years in a bid to promote acceptance. It will be published in paperback, e-book and audio on 8th December 2021.
So Happy For You is described by the publisher as "Bridesmaids" meets "Black Mirror" and follows "opinionated and self-confessed rabid feminist" Robin agreeing to be the maid of honour at her friend Ellie’s wedding. With soaring divorce rates, couples are resorting to extreme and dangerous measures to keep them together but Robin has to confront what’s at stake: her opinions, her friendship with Ellie, and potentially her life. Publication is scheduled for July 2022 across hardback, e-book and audio.
Laskey has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and currently lives in Los Angeles
She said: "I'm thrilled to be working with Cicely and the HQ team on the publication of Under the Rainbow and So Happy For You. Both books have a slightly surreal premise and explore the tension between people who embrace social norms and people who reject them—I’d say this is my biggest obsession as a writer. I’m incredibly thankful that HQ has allowed me to mine this obsession in two different books."
Aspinall added: "Celia is a brilliantly talented and versatile writer. These are two very different novels but whether she’s highlighting painful issues around prejudice, skewering modern relationship culture with razor-sharp wit, or making you grip the edge of your seat in suspense, she will have you thoroughly entertained. I’m so excited that HQ will be publishing Celia’s unforgettable novels."