Janson-Smith opens Blue Door

<p>A Chinese ghost story, the Welsh valleys&rsquo; answer to <em>Trainspotting</em> and &ldquo;John le Carr&eacute; meets Jason Bourne&rdquo; are the three subjects of the first acquisitions made by Patrick Janson-Smith for his new HarperCollins imprint Blue Door.</p><p><em>The Hungry Ghosts </em>by Anne Berry will be the first title published by the Press Books imprint in June 2009. Janson-Smith signed a pre-empt deal for world English language rights in two books for a &ldquo;good six-figure sum&rdquo; with agent Judith Murdoch. The novel is set in 1960s Hong Kong and the heroine is Alice Safford, who is possessed by the angry ghost of a young Chinese rape victim. She embarks on a &ldquo;relentless and poignant&rdquo; path of self-destruction to England then France to seek peace.</p><p>Janson-Smith said it was the &ldquo;dream book&rdquo; to launch the imprint. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an absolute stunner of a novel: a family saga with magical realist overlays, beautifully written and compulsively readable: as good as <em>The Lovely Bones</em> or your money back.&rdquo;</p><p>The second Blue Door release, <em>Dead Spy Running </em>by Jon Stock, will be published in July 2009. Janson-Smith won an auction between five publishers, including Headline, Hodder and Transworld, to clinch world English language volume rights. He paid a &ldquo;good six-figure sum&rdquo; to Claire Paterson of Janklow &amp; Nesbit for three books.</p><p>Written by <em>Daily Telegraph</em> journalist Jon Stock, Janson-Smith described the novel, featuring disgraced former MI5 agent Daniel Marchant, as &ldquo;John le Carr&eacute; meets Jason Bourne&rdquo;. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s bloody good,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It has reinvented the spy novel for the 21st century.&rdquo; </p><p>The third book, <em>Sixteen Shades of Crazy</em> by Dylan Thomas prize winner Rachel Trezise, will be published in early 2010. Blue Door paid a five-figure sum to Broo Doherty at Wade &amp; Doherty for UK and Commonwealth rights. Janson-Smith said that the &ldquo;tremendously witty&rdquo; book would examine the underbelly of society in Cardiff. &ldquo;This will do for Cardiff what Trainspotting did for Edinburgh,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;There will be a bit of drugs, a bit of sex and a bit of drinking&mdash;good underbelly stuff.&rdquo;</p><p>Janson-Smith said that he hoped to publish around 12 books a year. Press Books m.d. John Bond hailed Blue Door&rsquo;s &ldquo;aggressively acquisitive&rdquo; start. &ldquo;Blue Door was always going to be about Patrick&rsquo;s unique, eclectic taste for potential bestsellers, and these books fit the bill perfectly.&rdquo;</p>