HQ will publish “a warm, witty, honest, and accessible” account of writer and comedian Katy Brand’s life-long obsession with "Dirty Dancing", I Carried a Watermelon, billed as part-memoir, part homage to the 1987 film.
Lisa Milton, executive publisher of HQ, acquired world all language rights from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown within a day of receiving the proposal. I Carried a Watermelon will be published in hardback, eBook and audio on 31st October 2019.
The book promises to be an “entertaining and honest look” at Brand’s life-long obsession with "Dirty Dancing" and its influences on her attitudes to sex, romance, rights, and responsibilities. She will explore her own memories and experiences, as well as talking to other fans of the film.
It will also examine its legacy as a piece of filmmaking with a social agenda that many miss on first viewing; from pushing women’s stories to the forefront of commercial cinema, to its ‘Gold Standard’ depiction of abortion according to leading pro-choice campaigners, and its fresh and powerful take on the classic ‘coming of age’ story told from a naïve but idealistic 17- year-old girl’s point of view.
“One of the most celebrated and viewed films ever made is about to get its own love letter, and frankly, it’s about time,” HQ said.
Brand said: “I Carried a Watermelon is a book that, deep down, I now realise I have always wanted to write, so when the idea came, it came suddenly - a memoir, and homage to my favourite film, ‘Dirty Dancing’, covering my own adolescent obsession, and the impact it’s had on millions of fans. At last I can argue that the several hundred times I have watched it now count as legitimate research. And I’m so pleased to be working with HQ, Harper Collins - they said yes so fast I felt I must be in a dream.”
She added: “I’m about to have the time of my life…”
Milton said: “Sometimes a submission comes in that makes you act instantly. When Katy’s proposal arrived in my inbox, I read it immediately, loved it, and shared it with our team. Everyone loves Katy and everyone loves Dirty Dancing. We all knew we had to acquire it. So, we did within 24 hours. Now we’re joining hearts and hands and voices, ready to have lots of fun.”
Summerhayes added: “As soon as Katy mentioned that all she wanted to do on her 40th birthday was watch ‘Dirty Dancing’, twice, I knew we had a winning book. Katy had the idea on Monday, wrote the proposal on Tuesday, I shared it with Lisa on Wednesday, and HQ acquired it on Thursday. As Katy puts it, like the Craig David song”
Brand is an award-winning writer, comedian and actor, has worked on various shows, and currently presents the Penguin Podcast for Penguin Books.