Killing Lessons author revealed as Glen Duncan

The author of literary thriller The Killing Lessons, snapped up by Orion at auction on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair, has been revealed as Glen Duncan, writer of The Last Werewolf (Canongate) and I, Lucifer (Scribner).

Curtis Brown agent Jonny Geller was representing the book, which he sent out under the pseudonym Saul Black, because it was penned by an author already successful in “another sphere”. The partial manuscript then went on to sell in four territories around the world during Frankfurt Book Fair.

Geller told The Bookseller Duncan would continue to write under the pseudonym and his real name. He said: “We have to concentrate on the book I think and sometimes, especially when you have got something very different, you don’t want the name to get in the way.” He added: “Partials are always a risk and I haven’t sold many of them in the last few years, but it was an indication of how good the thriller was.”

In the UK, Orion's deputy publishing director Bill Massey bought UK and Commonwealth rights in a “significant” deal after a four-way auction and will publish in 2015.

Massey said that the book was “terrifying” but had “great depth.” He added: “You really believe in the characters and care deeply in them.” He added that although he had only read a partial manuscript and synopsis, “I can see how the story is going to unfold, it is brilliant.”

The partial has continued to sell around the world and was yesterday (10th October) snapped up by St Martins Press in the US for a two-book deal.  At the fair, rights were pre-empted by Intrinseca in Brazil and Urano in Spain as part of a two-book deal and Monadadori in Italy as part of a one-book deal, while Finnish rights have been sold to Like in a two-book deal.