LBF: The Ones to Watch: Part Two

LBF: The Ones to Watch: Part Two

Cathryn Summerhayes at William Morris Endeavour is bringing ghost story The True Confessions of Lucie Kaye by Neil Spring to London Book Fair, a debut set in the 1920s and based around the actual story of Borley Rectory, the "most haunted house in England", and the psychic detective who investigated it. Summerhayes also has Joanna Rossiter's The Wake, a debut snapped up in the UK by Juliet Annan at Fig Tree. From WME US comes another debut, The Brightest Day by Sophie McManus, currently on UK submission and the tale of a matriarch in an old New York family contemplating the decline of her world of inheritance and class-based power. A ghost novella from Mark Danielewski, author of The House of Leaves, titled The 50 Year Sword, is also on UK submission. So too is Susanna Sonnenberg's non-fiction She Matters: A Life in Friendships, an exploration of the influential female friendships that alternately inspired the author and wrought havoc on her life. The Witch of Perugia by Douglas Preston and
Mario Spezi will explore the story of the murder of Meredith Kercher. Rights have been pre-empted in Germany by Droemer.

Aitken Alexander has the new book from Pat Barker, Toby’s Room (UK rights sold to Hamish Hamilton and US to Doubleday). The novel revisits the First World War, the subject of Barker’s Regeneration trilogy. Meanwhile, Sarah Dunant’s novel Blood and Beauty is to tackle the juicy topic of the Borgias in the manner of a political thriller. Said to be “the most thrilling family saga to come out of Italy since The Godfather”, Virago will publish in 2013 (Random House in the US). Also from Aitken Alexander comes début The Crystal Bowl by Hanya Yanigahara, involving a disgraced Nobel Prize-winning scientist, and sold to Ravi Mirchandani at Atlantic (US rights to Doubleday). The agency is also bringing Victorian-set novel The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland, out on UK submission.

Ed Victor is bringing Nigellissima: Instant Italian Inspiration by Nigella Lawson, coming with Chatto in the UK in September, alongside a BBC TV series. Clarkson Potter is the US publisher. John Banville’s latest novel Ancient Light, to be published by Viking in July and Knopf in October, has thus far sold translation rights in France (Robert Laffont), Germany (Kiepenheuer & Witsch), Italy (Ugo Guanda), Portugal (Porto), Spain Catalan (Bromera) and Spain (Alfaguara). Pete Townsend’s autobiography Who I Am (HarperCollins in US and UK) has also sold in Brazil (Globo), Finland (Like), Denmark (Lindhardt & Ringhof), France (Michel Lafon), Germany (Kiepenheuer & Witsch), Japan (Kawade Shobo Shinsha) and Norway (Bazar Forlag). Meanwhile, The Paladin Prophecy, the first book in a new YA trilogy from Mark Frost, due out with Random House in the UK and US, has been sold in Germany (Arena Verlag), Brazil (Record), Hungary (Gabo), Croatia (Algoritam), Spain Catalan (Bromera) and Sweden (Fenix). A major film deal has been agreed.

Capel & Land has a new novel from Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Game, involving a secret game played by children on Victory Day in Russia, 1945, with disastrous consequences. UK rights have been sold to Selina Walker at Century. The agency also has the first novel in Fay Weldon’s Love and Inheritance trilogy, Habits of the House, sold to Head of Zeus (UK), St Martin’s Press (US), Contact (Holland) and Lindhardt & Rinhof (Denmark) to date. Another highlight is Andrew Robert’s new book, a one-volume biography of Napoleon, with Allen Lane and Viking US.

Janklow & Nesbit has novel Dirty Work by surgeon and writer Gabriel Weston, sold to Jonathan Cape in the UK, and a new novel by Eva Rice, The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp, with UK rights pre-empted for Quercus imprint Heron Books. Brian Kimberling’s Snapper, winner of the inaugural Janklow & Nesbit Bath Spa Prize, has gone to Headline. In non-fiction, LBF highlight titles include The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman, so far sold to Canongate (UK), Faber (US), the Netherlands (Ambo Anthos), Italy (Mondadori) and Israel (Kinneret).

Greene & Heaton’s Judith Murray is conducting a UK auction for crime thriller début The Distance by Helen Giltrow, which the agency says has “the best female character in crime fiction since Lisbeth Salander”. The book has sold in Germany in a six-figure, two-book pre-empt to Goldman. Anthony Topping has sold a Japanese historical thriller début, David Kirk’s Child of Vengeance, to Simon & Schuster in the UK and Doubleday in the US. German rights went to Rowohlt at auction, Newton Compton will publish in Italy and Albin Michel in France.

David Godwin Associates is bringing new novels by authors Tash Aw and Jim Crace, together with three “amazing” débuts: In God’s House by Ray Mouton, a novel about one man’s crusade to expose a conspiracy at the heart of the Catholic Church; The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy, set among clans of cats in the alleys of old Delhi; and The History of Shadows by Supriya Dravid, described as “a novel about a family of tragic oddballs”.

Darley Anderson is bringing the opening chapters of Chameleon, a début by a new female thriller writer writing as D Scrivener, to the fair. Meanwhile, highlights from established writers include the latest novel from Tana French, The Secret Place, which sold to Hodder & Stoughton in the UK. John Connolly’s latest Charlie Parker novel, The Wrath of Angels, also with H&S, is another book on the agency’s hotlist. The Killing House is the first title in a new thriller series by Chris Mooney, introducing former FBI profiler Malcolm Fletcher, and sold to Penguin in the UK. On the children’s list, top titles are Adam Perrott’s The Odds, about a family of professional pranksters, and Helen Grant’s Silent Saturday, the first in the YA Forbidden Spaces trilogy .

Peters, Fraser & Dunlop has How Much is Enough? The Economics of the Good Life by father and son Robert and Edward Skidelsky. Allen Lane has UK rights, The Other Press the US rights, while the book has also sold to Germany (Antje Kunstmann), Italy (Mondadori), Spain (Critica), Brazil (Record), Portugal (Texto) and Korea (Bookie Publishing House). Meanwhile Amanda Prowse, the author of self-publishing success Poppy Day, has had a second novel, Mrs Bedmaker, pre-empted by House of Zeus in the UK.

The Hanbury Agency’s highlights include Jimmy Connors’ memoir The Outsider (Transworld in the UK, HarperCollins in the US, Plon in France, Ed Saraiva in Brazil) and Judith Lennox’s novel The Turning Point (Headline in the UK, Piper in Germany and Unieboek in Holland). Mitch Winehouse’s Amy: My Daughter, out in the UK from HarperCollins in March, has already garnered international deals in the US (HC), France (Flammarion), Brazil (Record), Italy (Bompiani), Sweden (Bladh), Holland (Bruna), Poland (Sine Qua Non), Serbia (Carobna Knjiga), German (Edel) and Spain (Temas de Hoy). Czech rights are with Milenium.  

The Christopher Little Agency is bringing Darren Shan’s adult thriller Lady of the Shades (UK and Commonwealth, excluding Canada, with Orion); as well as Rebecca Wait’s “stunning” début—sold to Picador at auction—for which Dutch rights are under offer.

Mulcahy Conway Associates is taking début Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch, subject of a six-way auction in the UK where it was snapped up by Quercus; US and translation submissions are underway. Another highlight is Ha-Joon Chang’s Economics: The User’s Guide, an “accessible, insightful and engaging guide to economics”, sold to Allen Lane in the UK. The manuscript for Duran Duran founder John Taylor’s autobiography, sold to Little, Brown in the UK and Penguin/Dutton in the US, is “imminent”.

Conville & Walsh has Under Cobb Hill, a first novel by a Faber Writing Academy graduate Paul Cobb, described as a gothic tale of a single mother who flees London bombings to her rural childhood home. Meanwhile, Saira Shah’s first novel The Mouse-Proof Kitchen, sold to Harvill Secker in the UK, is now under offer in Italy, Sweden, America and Brazil. Professor Allen Frances’ Saving Normal: The Battle at the Boundary of Psychiatry argues that everyday conditions such as “sorrow” and “sadness” should not be included within the boundaries of mental illness. In children’s, Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin, “the story of a boy with an unspeakable secret”, is out on submission in the UK and garnering an “enthusiastic” response.

Lutyens & Rubinstein has Rush of Blood from Mark Billingham; The Wall, a first YA/crossover novel from William Sutcliffe for which Bloomsbury has world English rights (world Spanish rights have been pre-empted by Santillana); and The Teleportation Accident, the second novel from Ned Beauman, author of Boxer, Beetle, to be published by Sceptre in the UK and Bloomsbury in the US.