Long Barn Books, the publishing company owned by author Susan Hill, is releasing Angela Huth’s new book Colouring In on 27th May (priced £9.99).
Huth is best known for her 1995 novel Land Girls (Little, Brown), which was adapted into a film starring Rachel Weisz and Anna Friel in 1998. Huth wrote Colouring In “a few years ago” but it was turned down by several publishers before Hill took it on.
Hill said: “I have long been an admirer of Angela’s novels and I was so shocked that this new one was not finding a publisher easily. This is an increasing problem: novels by established authors who have not won prizes and are midlist can’t find homes anymore. I was determined to ensure this problem was solved, by solving it myself. I am a small publisher and I am very lucky to have such a distinguished author on my list.”
Hill primarily publishes non-fiction, but when she found out that Huth had a manuscript she asked to read it before agreeing to take it on. Huth said: “I have never been with a publisher who has paid more attention to detail. [Hill] does things that other publishers just don’t do nowadays.” She added: “Everyone in the book trade likes Susan, so that’s a great help.”
Despite her struggles with the UK market, Huth has found a market in France. After the film adaptation of Land Girls performed well in France, French publisher La Table Ronde took on the novel and 11 other titles from Huth’s backlist, two of which were bestsellers in France.
Huth regularly visits France to do events, which she conducts in French, having learned the language while studying art in Paris. Huth said: “My latest book, Deception is So Easy, was turned down by God knows how many publishers here, but it’s been successful in France and there’s a film producer interested.”
Colouring In is described as “an elegantly written, subtle novel full of Huth’s trademark insights into the lives, emotions, relationships and work of men and women”. It tells the interwoven stories of several characters that all revolve around masks. Hill is offering special deals to independent bookshops and is relaunching the Long Barn Books website with this novel.