The chief arts writer for the Sunday Times, Ireland, Eithne Shortall, is publishing a romantic comedy with Atlantic.
Sara O’ Keeffe, editorial director of Corvus, Atlantic Books, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Shortall's Love in Row 27 in a two-book deal from Juliet Mahoney at Lutyens and Rubinstein on behalf of Liz Parker at Inkwell Management. Rights for the book have since sold in Italy (De Agostini) and a five-way auction for German rights is currently being held.
Love in Row 27 is described as a "funny, heart-warming and endearing" debut, about an airline check-in attendant playing cupid to unsuspecting fliers while accidentally maybe finding a match of her own.
Still reeling from a break-up, its protagonist Cora Hendricks has given up on love - for herself that is. While working the Aer Lingus check-in desk she decides to play cupid by using her intuition, and the internet, to seat passengers on Row 27 next to "the person of their dreams - or not". Cora swears Row 27 is just a bit of fun, but while she's busy making sparks fly at cruising altitude, the love she'd given up on for herself just might have landed right in front of her...
O’ Keeffe said: "I’m thrilled to be able to publish this funny, heart-warming and endearing debut novel from a fantastic new voice in Irish women’s fiction. For anyone who has ever dreamt of finding love in the air, only to end up stuck with a leathery cheese toastie and a neighbouring passenger with personal hygiene issues, this will be a delightful diversion into an altogether more hopeful version of air-travel – and love."
Shortall is based in Dublin as the chief arts writer at Sunday Times, Ireland. She said: "Love in Row 27 is a story about possibilities; about the many ways life can turn out, and about how we sometimes distract ourselves from our own lives by getting involved in those of others. I wanted to write a story that was fun and smart and heart-warming. There is a certain kind of book that acts as a blanket - where you feel warm and looked after while reading it - and that was just the sort of thing I wanted to create. I am delighted to be working with Corvus on my debut novel, and equally delighted that they've agreed to take a second one."