HQ has acquired two books by Faber Acadamy graduate Alice Feeney for six figures.
HQ senior commissioning editor Sally Williamson bought UK and Commonwealth rights to the titles from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.
Feeney is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course and was approached by 15 literary agents when she graduated, the publisher said. She currently works as a BBC journalist.
The first novel of the two book deal, Sometimes I Lie, is an "unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling" thriller.
Feeney said: "The reaction to my novel has been a little overwhelming and I'm incredibly flattered that people like my writing. Being approached by agents, receiving offers from publishers and auctions in different countries has eclipsed any expectations I may have had. Jonny and the Curtis Brown team are amazing. I feel very lucky to be working with Sally and such a brilliant team at HQ and I’m also thrilled to be working with Amy Einhorn in the US. Everything has happened very fast and none of it feels terribly real to me at the moment, but I can’t wait to hold my book in my hands for the first time and get cracking with the next one."
Williamson said: "Alice has created that rare kind of novel where, once you’ve turned the final page, you’re left genuinely shocked, breathless and desperate to discuss the story with anyone who will listen. I am incredibly excited to be publishing Alice on the HQ list and her book is going to be the most talked about thriller of next year."
Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown, said: "Alice Feeney’s debut grips you by the throat from page one and won’t let you go until its unexpected climax. I’m thrilled to find a publisher to match that energy in Sally Williamson at HQ".
US rights were sold to Amy Einhorn at Flatiron after a "furious" auction, and rights in Germany and Russia have also been sold. Sometimes I Lie is also under offer in Italy and an auction is on-going in Poland.
Sometimes I Lie will be published on the 23rd March 2016 in paperback priced at £7.99 and e-book priced at £5.99.