HQ has acquired a ghostly historical debut, Greyswick, and one other novel written by Anita Frank.
Publishing director Kate Mills bought World English Rights for “a good” five-figure sum from David Headley at DHH Literary Agency.
Set towards the end of the First World War, the novel follows nurse Stella, who having witnessed the death of her fiancé in Flanders, is sent to recuperate at a house with a tragic past. When she hears crying in the night and sees small footsteps appearing on the stairs, Stella teams up with a cynical wounded soldier in trying to establish the source of the house’s unrest – “with deeply disturbing results,” HQ said.
“I was completely captivated by Greyswick,” Mills said. “A beautifully told spine-tingler, it is at once deeply moving and utterly chilling. At a time when few families were untouched by the war, Anita Frank's novel explores grief and loss and the rise of spiritualism in the post-Edwardian era. It’s one of those novels you can just lose yourself in; with a nod to the classic ghost story, heart-breaking yet hopeful, and I know it will cast a spell on readers this autumn.”
Headley said: “As soon as I read Greyswick I knew I had a gem. In the hands of Kate and HQ, it is the perfect home for this novel and I can’t wait for readers to discover this hugely talented storyteller.”
Frank said: “Having grown up in a haunted farmhouse, I have always been fascinated by ghost stories, so for my debut novel it seemed obvious to combine my love of history with the intrigue of the supernatural. I am absolutely thrilled to now be working with Kate and her team at HQ and am most grateful to David for championing Greyswick from the start.”
Frank worked for the Financial Times Information Group and the British Bankers’ Association and is now a full-time carer for her youngest child, who is disabled.