Quercus imprint Jo Fletcher Books has acquired a cross-genre debut set in 1960s America, called Our Child of the Stars, in a two-book deal.
Jo Fletcher, publisher of the imprint, bought UK and Commonwealth and translation rights to the book by debut author Stephen Cox from Robert Dinsdale at Independent Literary. Fletcher said she had won the book in spite of interest from "a number of major mainstream and genre publishers".
The novel, described as "a rare novel of warmth, charm, goodness and generosity that transcends genre", tells the story of Cory, a lost boy with a remarkable appearance, the lengths his adopted family will go to protect him and the secret that refuses to stay hidden. Jo Fletcher Books will publish in early 2019.
Fletcher said: "I knew I had to go for Our Child of the Stars from the first chapter...and when everyone else at Quercus started raving too, I knew this was something exceptional. To have won it when I know a number of major mainstream and genre publishers were equally enthusiastic makes this a special acquisition. Everyone at Jo Fletcher Books and Quercus is thrilled to be publishing Stephen and introducing Cory to an unsuspecting world."
Cox, whose background is in health and education, said: "In October 2013 I wrote a short story for Halloween. I knew then that Molly, Gene and Cory were special: they deserved their story to be told in full, and to a wider audience. I’m delighted to be working with such an experienced and insightful editor as Jo Fletcher to make that happen. Three cheers too for my agent Robert Dinsdale, who believed in the book."
US rights are being handled by Caitlin Blasdell of Liza Dawson Associates.