John Murray Press will publish Sally J Morgan's debut Toto Among the Murderers on its J M Originals list this October.
Commissioning editor Becky Walsh bought world rights from Jonathan Ruppin at The Ruppin Agency.
Toto Among the Murderers is loosely based on Morgan's own experiences as an art student living in a run-down part of Leeds in the 1970s. The novel tells the story of Jude, nicknamed Toto, a chaotic wild child who hitchhikes around the country. What Jude doesn't realise, is the infamous murderers, Fred and Rosemary West, are stalking the country on the lookout for girls like Jude.
Walsh commented: "When I read Sal’s book on submission I was struck by how timely and pertinent it felt and now that publication is nearly upon us it feels even more so. Sal really brings to life 1970s north of England and the characters who populate Toto Among the Murderers and I’m excited to see how readers react to the story she has to tell."
Morgan said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that J M Originals are publishing my debut novel. For me, it's been a lifelong ambition to write a novel, and Toto Among the Murderers has been a labour of love. J M Originals are a daring and innovative publisher, and I have enjoyed the whole process of working with my agent, Jonathan Ruppin, and then my editor, Becky Walsh. I am hugely excited about sharing Toto's story."
Toto Among the Murderers will be published in paperback and e-book on 29th October 2020.