Debut author Joe Heap has signed a "major" six-figure deal with HarperFiction.
Charlotte Ledger, editorial director at HarperFiction, pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights to two books by Heap from Laura Macdougall at United Agents.
The first title, The Rules of Seeing, follows the lives of two women whose paths cross at a time when they need each other most. Nova, an interpreter for the Metropolitan police, has been blind from birth. When she undergoes surgery to restore her sight her journey is just beginning – she now has to face a world in full colour for the first time. Kate, a successful architect and wife to Tony, is in hospital after a blow to the head. There, she meets Nova and what starts as a beautiful friendship soon turns into something more.
The publisher said: "Nuanced and full of emotion, The Rules of Seeing explores realities and tensions of domestic violence through a quirky and endearing love story that will make you see the world in a completely new way."
Ledger praised the "devastatingly good" title, saying: "This sad, funny, quirky, incredibly original novel put me right into the world of Kate and Nova, two strong, complex, unassuming but relatable women."
She added: "This is a book that is going to be read, talked about, pressed into friends’ hands, with each person I’m sure taking something away that is unique to them. There’s nothing quite like it, and I am so proud and delighted to be publishing such an exciting new voice in fiction."
Heap said he was "bowled over" by the passion and enthusaism from the HarperFiction team.
The Rules of Seeing is currently scheduled to be published in Summer 2018.